Employee Benefit Trust Funds

Our employee benefits team specializes in representing multiemployer Taft-Hartley trust funds, as well as similar single employer public employee trusteed plans. We have provided legal services to collectively bargained multiemployer and single employer benefit funds for nearly forty years. Our team currently has more than 25 clients that are collectively bargained multiemployer benefit funds or that are single employer public employee trusts and provides services to numerous public employee trusts.

We enjoy a shared history with the trust funds we’ve been privileged to represent, some dating back decades, helping guide them through good economic times and bad. We work with both labor and management trustees on all the plans we represent, without either side feeling any need for additional independent trust counsel. In this model, we are able to provide legal services to our clients as true neutral legal advisors.

We ensure that all trustees, third-party administrators and service providers are aligned and working together collaboratively for the benefit of the plan participants and beneficiaries. We assist trustees in navigating any issues that arise in the development and administration of trusteed plans. Our work includes:

  • Employee benefit plan design
  • Plan drafting and qualification
  • IRS determination letter applications
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Trustee meetings and advice
  • IRS and DOL audit defense
  • Regulatory compliance under ERISA, HIPAA, ACA, PHSA and other applicable laws
  • Prosecution and defense of withdrawal liability assessments (plan and employer-side)
  • ERISA claims defense and litigation
  • Subrogation and third-party reimbursement actions
  • Employer contribution collection litigation

Our team’s members present at the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ conferences on these issues.

We also provide an American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) panelist arbitrator for withdrawal liability cases under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”).

Representative Matters
  • Successfully defended employee benefit fund against a hospital’s $750,000 ERISA benefit claim. We prevailed on a motion for summary judgment by demonstrating that the underlying patient was not eligible for benefits at the time of treatment.

  • Obtained a $1.9M judgment against employer, alter ego company and owner/fiduciaries who failed to pay their employees’ fringe benefits. Board of Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 525 Health and Welfare Trust and Plan v. Security Plumbing & Air Conditioning, 2017 WL 923913 (D. Nev. March 8, 2017).

  • Obtained judgment that included punitive damages against dental office for fraudulent billing to health plan. Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Vargas, No. 12A673576 (Nev.Dist.Ct. June 12, 2014).

  • Obtained judgments against participants who were ineligible for health plan benefits but erroneously received them. Trustees of the Teamsters Local 631 Security Fund for Southern Nevada v. Beavers, No. 2:13-cv-00824, 2014 WL 1302035 (D. Nev. March 28, 2014)

  • Assisted in obtaining judgment against pension plan’s investment manager and investment consultant for overcharging commissions and engaging in prohibited transactions. Trustees of Nevada Resort Ass’n – Int’l Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees & Moving Picture Mach. Operators of U.S. & Canada Local 720 Pension Trust v. Grasswood Partners, Inc., No. 2:11-CV-00044-MMD, 2013 WL 1249617 (D. Nev. Mar. 27, 2013).

  • Obtained judgment against a bond company for ERISA employer’s debt to multiemployer benefit trust funds and for attorneys’ fees in excess of bond limit. Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters v Pyles, No. 12A663410, 2013 WL 6222083 (Nev.Dist.Ct. Oct. 18, 2013)

  • Janis Carmona v. Judy Carmona, 544 F. 3d 988 (9th Cir. 2008). ERISA preempts efforts by pension plan participant's eighth wife (and widow) to take survivor annuity away from seventh wife, who was married to the participant at the time of his retirement.

  • Trustees of the Utah Carpenters' and Cement Masons' Pension Trust v. New Star/Culp, 2009 WL 321573 (D. Utah). Employer waived all withdrawal liability defenses by failing to arbitrate its claim that it had not withdrawn under the construction industry rules; employer's counterclaim against plan fiduciaries for alleged failure to investigate circumstances of withdrawal also had to be arbitrated, and was not timely raised in any event.

  • Guthart v. White, 263 F. 3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2001). ERISA health plan participant who sued plan for benefits did not perform qualifying work and, although contributions were made to ERISA plan on his behalf, was not entitled to plan coverage or benefits.

Meet The Team

Adam P. Segal Shareholder T 702.464.7001 asegal@bhfs.com
Bryce C. Loveland Shareholder T 702.464.7024 bcloveland@bhfs.com
Andrew S. Brignone Shareholder T 702.464.7006 abrignone@bhfs.com
Christopher M. Humes Associate T 702.464.7094 chumes@bhfs.com
Cara R. Sterling Shareholder T 303.223.1141 csterling@bhfs.com
Nancy A. Strelau Shareholder T 303.223.1151 nstrelau@bhfs.com
William D. Nobriga Associate T 303.223.1306 wnobriga@bhfs.com
Ishra K. Solieman Staff Attorney T 303.260.1880 isolieman@bhfs.com