Collections/ERISA Litigation

Mooney Green provides a full range of litigation services for our benefit fund clients.

For benefit plan clients, Mooney Green provides a full range of litigation support, including the pursuit and prosecution of employer contribution delinquencies. Our attorneys have prosecuted hundreds of collection actions against employers in the federal district courts and the bankruptcy courts, as well as in the U.S. Courts of Appeal. The Firm handles all aspects of these collection activities, including sending demand letters, initiating and prosecuting litigation, enforcing and executing judgments, and negotiating settlements. Additionally, through our representation of plans in the construction industry, we have significant experience in using mechanics liens and other state law remedies to pursue collections against delinquent construction-industry employers.

The Firm also has significant experience enforcing employers’ withdrawal liability obligations at all stages in the process. Where warranted, we assist in drafting initial assessments and requests for information, as well as crafting responses to Requests for Review, evaluating requested sale of asset waivers, handling withdrawal liability arbitrations, and prosecuting enforcement actions to recover amounts owed. The Firm performs withdrawal liability work for both construction and non-construction industry plans, and we have had significant success pursuing alter ego and successor employers for withdrawal liability in both contexts.

We understand that a collections process, including withdrawal liability collection, is about more than just mailing letters and filing suit. It is about convincing delinquent employers that it is in their best interests to comply with their obligations to our clients. Employers frequently encounter cash-flow problems and it is natural for companies in that position to look for the easiest way to manage their cash by deciding which bills to pay and which bills to put off. We believe that a successful collections program depends on making sure that our clients’ bills are the ones that get paid and we believe we have been successful in that pursuit.

We also represent and counsel both pension and health plans in the defense against benefit claims litigation or claims of fiduciary breach brought by participants or beneficiaries.  In addition, we represent our health plan clients in litigation to enforce subrogation and reimbursement rights.

Practice Highlights
  • Board of Trustees, Sheet Metal Workers’ Nat’l Pension Fund v. Four-C-Aire, Inc., 929 F.3d 135 (4th Cir. 2019) (reaffirming the “favored status” of multiemployer pension funds bringing collection actions, and the limitations on employer’s ability to raise common law defenses to these actions).
  • Board of Trustees., Sheet Metal Workers’ Nat’l Pension Fund v. Four-C-Aire, Inc., 42 F.4th 300 (4th Cir. 2022) (holding an employer may adopt a collective bargaining agreement by conduct and is subject to the plain terms of the agreement and plan’s trust document requiring it to remit exit contributions upon the cessation of its obligation to contribute to the plan).
  • McCulloch v. Board of Trustees of SEIU Affiliates Officers & Employees Pension Plan, 686 F. App’x 68 (2d Cir. 2017) (defending a plan against a participant who claimed that benefits were improperly reduced when the fund elected to convert from a single employer plan to a multiemployer plan).
MoonyGreen Practice: Fire Fighters
Fire Fighters
Mooney Green proudly serves as the general counsel to the International Association of Fire Fighters.
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MoonyGreen Practice: Labor Union Representation
Labor Union Representation
Mooney Green provides legal services to labor organizations that represent America’s working men and women.
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MoonyGreen Practice: Benefit Plan Administration & Compliance
Benefit Plan Administration & Compliance
Mooney Green provides legal services necessary for administering, operating, and maintaining multiemployer plans.
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MoonyGreen Practice: Rail/Transportation
Mooney Green represents rail, transit, and aviation unions to enforce their rights and advance their interests.
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MoonyGreen Practice: Legislative/Regulatory
Mooney Green has experience drafting legislation, commenting on rulemaking, and providing testimony to regulatory bodies
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MoonyGreen Practice: Bankruptcy
Mooney Green represents the interests of unions and benefit plans in Chapter 7 and 11 cases.
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