Baker v. Save Mart ERISA Class Action

July 3, 2024 Update: Today Plaintiffs submitted their Motion for Class Certification. This motion asks the Court to allow the case to proceed as a class action on behalf of everyone in the proposed class, rather than as a case on behalf of only four individuals. The proposed class is all non-union participants in the retiree benefits plan at the time of its termination, as well as non-union employees who retire and meet the eligibility criteria to become participants in the plan at any time between when Save Mart announced the termination on April 22, 2022 and the resolution of this action. You can read a copy of the Motion for Class Certification here. Over fifty individuals came forward to provide declarations supporting Plaintiffs’ position that Save Mart made uniform, common representations to its employees that if they worked long enough to qualify for retirement benefits, those benefits would be theirs for life. Save Mart’s opposition brief is due August 9; Plaintiffs reply brief is due August 30; and the Court has scheduled a hearing on this motion for October 3, 2024. We expect to have a decision from the Court on this motion within two to six months after the hearing.

February 28, 2024 Update:  The Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint, adding new claims against Save Mart for failing to properly terminate the retiree health benefits plan. The new complaint also expands the class definition to include persons who retire between April 22, 2022 (when Save Mart announced it was ending benefits) and the resolution of this lawsuit, and who would otherwise have met the eligibility requirements to enroll in the Plan. You can read a copy of the Second Amended Complaint here. The parties are continuing in the process of discovery, which we expect to continue for approximately four more months. (Please read the updates below for more description of that process.) The next step after that will be for Plaintiffs to submit a motion to the Court asking the Court to certify the case as a class action.

April 10, 2023 Update: The Court issued an order denying Save Mart’s motion to dismiss the case on April 7, 2023. You can read a copy of the order here. This order means that the case will go forward. The next step in the case is for the parties to take discovery of the other side’s claims and defenses through collecting documents and taking depositions. This discovery process can take anywhere from six months to a year or more. If you are a Save Mart non-union retiree, you do not need to do anything at this time to be included in the case. If you would like to be included in our contact list, you may fill out the form on this page.

February 16, 2023 Update: Save Mart filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on January 23, 2023. Plaintiffs filed an opposition on February 15, 2023. Click here to read Plaintiffs’ opposition.

November 23, 2022 Update: Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on November 22, 2022. Save Mart’s deadline to respond to the Amended Complaint is January 23, 2023. Click here to read the Amended Complaint.

November 1, 2022 Update: Save Mart filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on October 17, 2022. Plaintiffs will file an amended complaint by November 22, 2022, and Save Mart will have until January 23, 2023 to either file an answer to the amended complaint, or file a new motion to dismiss.

On August 11, 2022, Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel Bolt Keenley Kim and Matern Law Group filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in California against Save Mart Supermarkets, the largest regional grocer in California, operating over 200 Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx stores. The lawsuit alleges Save Mart misrepresented to its employees that if they worked long enough to become eligible for retirement, they would receive retiree medical benefits for the rest of their lives. Then, in 2022, the company terminated the medical benefit, depriving hundreds or thousands of retirees of their medical benefits.

As alleged in the complaint, this action by Save Mart was exceptionally brutal, as most class members had worked at its stores for at least thirty years in exchange for the understanding that they would be taken care of in retirement. In eliminating the medical benefit, Save Mart broke faith with its most dedicated workers.

To learn more about the lawsuit and how it may affect you, use the form on this page to contact an employment law advocate at Lieff Cabraser. Lieff Cabraser’s Employment practice group is a nationally-recognized leader in the pursuit of protecting workers rights. We have repeatedly prevailed in and obtained significant recoveries for our clients in precedent-setting employment cases against the largest corporations in the U.S. and throughout the world, including Walmart, IBM, Federal Express, Smith Barney, and Home Depot. The Employment practice group’s honors include The Recorder’s 2015 California Litigation Department of the Year and U.S. News and Best Lawyers 2013 national “Law Firm of the Year” award in the category of Employment Law – Individuals.

Contact us

If you work at or have worked at Save Mart or one of its affiliated stores and your retirement health savings account was revoked, please use the form below to be added to our case contact list. All communications will be held strictly confidential. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358.

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