Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rollins v. Dignity Health

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 26, 2014

STARLA ROLLINS, Plaintiff,
v.
DIGNITY HEALTH, et al., Defendants

For Starla Rollins, on behalf of herself, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Bruce Frank Rinaldi, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Washington, DC; Juli E. Farris, LEAD ATTORNEY, Havila C. Unrein, Keller Rohrback LLP, Seattle, WA; Christopher Graver, PRO HAC VICE, Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Phoenix, AZ; Karen L Handorf, Matthew Alexander Smith, Michelle C. Yau, Monya M Bunch, PRO HAC VICE, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Washington, DC; Lynn Lincoln Sarko, Matthew M. Gerend, PRO HAC VICE, Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Seattle, WA; Ron Kilgard, PRO HAC VICE, Keller Rohrback, P.L.C., Phoenix, AZ.

For Dignity Health, A California Non-profit Corporation, Herbert J. Vallier, an individual, Defendants: Barry Scott Landsberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Colin Michael McGrath, Craig Steven Rutenberg, Harvey L. Rochman, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Charles M. Dyke, LEAD ATTORNEY, Matthew J. Frankel, Nixon Peabody LLP, San Francisco, CA; David S. Shapiro, PRO HAC VICE, Attorney at Law, Cambridge, MA; R. Bradford Huss, Sean T. Strauss, Trucker Huss, A Professional Corporation, San Francisco, CA.

For Members of the Dignity Health Retirement Committee, Defendant: Charles M. Dyke, LEAD ATTORNEY, Nixon Peabody LLP, San Francisco, CA; Harvey L. Rochman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Los Angeles, CA; R. Bradford Huss, Sean T. Strauss, Trucker Huss, A Professional Corporation, San Francisco, CA.

For Members of the Dignity Health Retirement Plans Sub-Committee, Defendant: Barry Scott Landsberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Colin Michael McGrath, Craig Steven Rutenberg, Harvey L. Rochman, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Charles M. Dyke, LEAD ATTORNEY, Nixon Peabody LLP, San Francisco, CA; David S. Shapiro, PRO HAC VICE, Attorney at Law, Cambridge, MA; R. Bradford Huss, Sean T. Strauss, Trucker Huss, A Professional Corporation, San Francisco, CA.

For United States of America, Movant: Benjamin Leon Berwick, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For Lynn Morris, Movant: Catha Alison Worthman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jacob Avery Richards, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C., Oakland, CA.

For Caroline Plaza, Veronica Tench, Jacqueline Murray, Maidaflor Maybir, Jocelyn Manacmul, Donna Gutierrez, Eleanore de Dios, Elenita Santos-Funai, Movants: Catha Alison Worthman, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C., Oakland, CA; Jacob Avery Richards, Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker, and Jackson, P.C., Oakland, CA.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CERTIFY COURT'S ORDER GRANTING PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL AND STAYING CASE

THELTON E. HENDERSON, United States District Judge.

On July 22, 2014, the Court granted partial summary judgment for Plaintiff because the Court had previously concluded that ERISA's " church plan" exception only applied if a retirement plan was established by a church, and there was no genuine dispute as to the facts that Catholic Healthcare West was not a church and had established the plan at issue in this case. Defendants subsequently filed this motion to certify the Court's Order for interlocutory appeal and stay the case. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter suitable for resolution without oral argument. For the reasons given below, the Court now GRANTS Defendants' motion, CERTIFIES its July 22, 2014 Order for interlocutory appeal, and STAYS all further proceedings pending the Ninth Circuit's decision whether or not to hear the appeal.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Starla Rollins (" Rollins") was employed as a billing coordinator by Defendant Dignity Health (" Dignity") from 1986 to 2012. Rollins challenges Dignity's practice of operating its employees' retirement savings plan (" the Plan") as a " church plan, " exempt from the funding and disclosure requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (" ERISA"). Dignity has at all times argued that the Plan meets ERISA's definition of a church plan, as set out at 29 U.S.C. § 1002(33).

In December of 2013, the Court denied Dignity's motion to dismiss this action, holding that under ERISA's plain meaning, a plan must be " established by a church" to be considered a church plan, and Dignity had not argued that it could meet that definition. Rollins v. Dignity Health, No. 13-cv-1450 TEH, 2013 WL 6512682, at *7 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2013). Dignity moved to certify that decision for interlocutory appeal, which the Court denied in March of 2014, because it did not satisfy the requirements set out at 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). Rollins v. Dignity Health, No. 13-cv-1450 TEH, 2014 WL 1048637, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2014).

In July of 2014, the Court granted Plaintiff's and denied Defendants' cross-motions for partial summary judgment. Rollins v. Dignity Health, No. 13-cv-1450 TEH, 2014 WL 3613096, at *1 (N.D. Cal. July 22, 2014). The Court reiterated its prior holding that a church plan must be established by a church. Id. at *6. The Court found that there was no genuine dispute as to the material facts that Defendants' predecessor, Catholic Healthcare West (" CHW"), established the Plan, and that CHW was not a church. Id. Accordingly, the Court held that the Plan was not an exempt church plan, and therefore was subject to ERISA's requirements. Id.

On October 27, 2014, Plaintiff brought motions for a permanent injunction and to certify a class. (Docket Nos. 180, 183). At a Case Management Conference held November 3, the Court stayed Plaintiff's motions and provided Defendants the opportunity to seek an appeal of the Court's prior order. (Docket No. 191). On November 10, 2014, Defendants brought this ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.