As reported in Law360, plaintiffs represented by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel have defeated Save Mart Supermarkets’ attempts to get workers’ claims thrown out of the federal class action lawsuit alleging the grocery chain denied their employees promised retiree medical benefits. The largest regional grocer in California, Save Mart operates over two-hundred Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx stores and employs tens of thousands of people.
The lawsuit alleges Save Mart misled its employees by promising that those who worked long enough to become eligible for retirement would receive medical benefits for life. However, in 2022, the company made the decision to terminate these benefits, leaving hundreds or possibly thousands of retirees without coverage. The lawsuit accuses Save Mart of misrepresentation and of depriving its retired employees of the benefits they were promised.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California rejected Save Mart’s motion to dismiss the ERISA lawsuit, which claims Save Mart violated its fiduciary responsibilities in April 2022 when the company chose to cease providing $500 monthly health reimbursements to its retirees and their spouses.
“Many of Save Mart’s attacks … raise factual disputes that will prove out at a later stage of litigation, including whether it was reasonable for the plaintiffs to believe that Save Mart would always provide beneficiaries with specific benefits and how certain language … should beinterpreted,” noted Judge Orrick. “And whether Save Mart’s alleged statements were consistent with the language of the plan documents does not undermine the plaintiffs’ claim,” he said.
“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling,” noted Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver, who represents the plaintiffs in the litigation. “The court’s decision … recognizes that Save Mart’s retirees have a legal claim for the retirement benefits that the company promised them and for which they worked so long to secure.”
Read the full article on Law360’s (subscription) website.
To learn more about the Baker v. Save Mart ERISA Class Action Lawsuit, visit our website.
Contact an Employment Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser Today
If you work at or have worked at Save Mart or one of its affiliated stores and were denied retiree medical benefits, please use the form on this page to contact an employment law advocate at Lieff Cabraser today. All information will be held strictly confidential and there is no charge or obligation for our review of your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358.