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Smith v. Delta Air Lines

On July 29, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit unanimously affirmed a decision in favor of Bancroft client Delta Air Lines in Smith v. Delta Air Lines, 619 F. App’x 874 (11th Cir. 2015). The plaintiff, a former Delta employee, brought a putative class action against Delta under ERISA, arguing that it was “imprudent” for Delta to allow participants in the company’s 401(k) plan to invest in Delta stock while the company was facing business challenges in the early 2000s. The district court dismissed the complaint and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in 2014. But the Supreme Court subsequently vacated and remanded that decision for further consideration in light of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014). On remand, Bancroft filed a supplemental brief that convinced the Eleventh Circuit to adhere to its previous disposition affirming the dismissal of all claims against Delta. Paul D. Clement and Jeffrey M. Harris represented Delta before the Eleventh Circuit.

Opinion