Idearc spinoff — no, ERISA does not work either.

A cousin to U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Verizon Communications, Inc., the case of Murphy v. Verizon Communications, Inc. presented an ERISA-based challenge to the spinoff of Idearc by Verizon.  No. 13-11117 (Oct. 15, 2014, unpublished).  The appellate issue was the plaintiffs’ right under ERISA’s “catch-all provision” to request, as “other instruments under which the [ERISA] plan is established or operated,” various documents about the plan’s investment guidelines.  The Fifth Circuit held: “We agree with the majority of the circuits which have construed [the] catch-all provision narrowly so as to apply only to formal legal documents that govern a plan.”

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