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10-1978, 10-2175 & 10-3713 Williams v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//September 2, 2011//

10-1978, 10-2175 & 10-3713 Williams v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//September 2, 2011//

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Employment
ERISA; class actions; attorney fees

A $43 million attorney fee award on an ERISA class action that settled for $180 million was not unreasonable.
“The Adamski Objectors highlight the fee awards in Kohl v. Ass’n of Trial Lawyers of Am., 183 F.R.D. 475 (D. Md. 1998), and Laurenzano v. BCBS of Mass. Ret. Income Trust, 191 F. Supp. 2d 223 (D. Mass. 2002). Though the fee award in each of these cases was based on a percentage of the recovery (29% in Kohl and 33% in Laurenzano), the Adamski Objectors report only the total dollar value of the fees. The percentage awards in these cases were consistent with the declarations, proffered by Class counsel, that reported the market rate for ERISA class action attorney’s fees is a contingency fee between 25% and 33%. The district court credited these declarations and gave minimal weight to the dollar amounts of the fees in Kohl and Laurenzano. This decision was well within the district court’s discretion.”

Affirmed.

10-1978, 10-2175 & 10-3713 Williams v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Barker, J., Kanne, J.

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