Summary of the Lawsuit
This lawsuit alleges claims against Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Northrop Grumman Severance Plan failed to provide severance benefits to certain pursuant to terms of the Plan that Northrop Grumman wrongfully interfered with the payment of severance benefits and/or breached their fiduciary duties with respect to the disclosures made to participants about the Plan. This action, entitled Carlson et al v. Northrop Grumman Severance Plan et al is filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Summary of the Claims
The Complaint alleges that Northrop Grumman and the Plan failed to properly pay benefits to Plaintiffs and the Class pursuant to the terms of the Severance Plan, that Northrop wrongfully interfered with the benefits to which Plaintiffs and the Class were entitled under the Plan. Alternatively, the Complaint alleges that Northrop breached its fiduciary duty of by failing to properly disclose and explain the eligibility rules of the Plan, including any change to those eligibility rules as of October 2011 – namely with respect to any change with respect to the function regarding the memorandum from a Vice President of Human Resources – and that as a remedy, the Complaint requests reformation of the plan and an order that benefits be paid consistent with the reformed plan.
Class Action Allegations
This lawsuit is brought on behalf of a class consisting of the following former employees of Northrop Grumman:
All persons who worked for Northrop Grumman in the United States, were regularly scheduled to work over 20 hours per week, were laid off from Northrop Grumman from January 1, 2012 and after, and who did not receive a written notification from management or from a Vice President of Human Resources (or his/her designee) notifying them of their eligibility for severance benefits under the Plan and who did not receive the "Cash Portion" of the severance benefits (a.k.a. the Salary Continuation Benefits) under the terms of the plan (regardless of whether they receive Medical, Dental, or Vision benefits under the plan); and the Beneficiaries of those Participants.
Excluded from the Class are (1) employees specifically excluded from participation in the Plan as follows: (a) Employees of the Electronic Systems Sector who work at BWI, Annapolis, Sykesville (including FE&S employees and FE&S offsite offices and facilities), Troy Hill, Sunnyvale or Kings Bay, (b) Employees of the Technical Services Sector who are classified by Northrop Grumman as being in the following employment categories (i) Service Contract Act (SCA) employees, (ii) Union Represented employees, (iii) Employees covered by a Memorandum of Understanding between the TS Sector and ES Sector providing for the temporary assignment of the employee to the TS Sector and retention of participation in the ES Sector employee benefit programs, (c) employees excluded from coverage as a result of participation in another Northrop Grumman severance benefit program, and (d) employees represented by a union whose collective bargaining agreement does not provide for participation in the Plan; and (2) any fiduciaries or other persons who had any decision-making or administrative authority with respect to the Plan and the members of the immediate family of any such person.
Status of the Litigation
Plaintiffs filed their initial complaint on April 4, 2013. The Court denied Defendants motion to dismiss on March 31, 2014. The Court granted Plaintiff's motion to amend their Complaint to assert class allegations on June 26, 2014. Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint asserting claims on behalf of the Class on October 22, 2014. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss those claims and the Court denied Defendants' motion to dismiss on July 11, 2016 Plaintiffs file a motion for class certification on January 4, 2017. Discovery is ongoing.
Whom to Contact for More Information
If you are a member of the proposed class or you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please contact one of the following persons:
Block & Leviton is co-counsel in this litigation with the Roberts Bartolic, LLP.