Stephen R. Bruce
Attorney for Plaintiffs

202.289.1117 phone

1667 K Street NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20006

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Welcome to the El Paso Pension Class Action Lawsuit web page, which provides up to date information and court documents relating to the El Paso Corporation class action suit about a cash balance pension conversion: Tomlinson, et al. v. El Paso Corporation Pension Plan, C.A. 04-2686 (D.Colo.).


On December 22, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a Petition for Certiorari requesting that the Supreme Court review the Tenth Circuit's decision on the ground that: (1) the Tenth Circuit should have deferred to Treasury Department regulations to find that El Paso violated the "anti-backloading" rules in ERISA, and (2) the Tenth Circuit should have found that the periods of "wear-away" experienced by older participants in El Paso's pension plan violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court denied Plaintiffs' Petition. We are very disappointed with this outcome, but since the Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case, we unfortunately are out of legal options.



The three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit that heard this case issued a decision on all of the ADEA and ERISA claims in favor of El Paso Corp. and adverse to its employees on August 11, 2011 (available here). We are preparing a petition for rehearing by the same three judges or a rehearing en banc (which means a rehearing before all of the active judges on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals). The petition for a rehearing is due September 8, 2011. We are disappointed by the Tenth Circuit's August 11, 2011 decision, but believe there are persuasive grounds for a rehearing.

On July 26, 2010, the District Court granted El Paso’s motion for summary judgment on the ADEA claim and entered a judgment on August 6, 2010 dismissing all of Plaintiffs’ claims. Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on August 24, 2010. The appellate briefs will be completed in February 2011 after which an oral argument will be scheduled.

See the Denver Post’s February 8, 2009 article about the impact of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on the Plaintiffs’ age discrimination claim.

See the Court’s March 22, 2007 ruling refusing to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims that the cash balance conversion violated the ADEA and the BNA Pension and Benefits Daily article about the ruling. See also the expert reports of Plaintiffs’ statistical, actuarial, and communications experts dated April 15, 2008. 

The El Paso case centers on the conversion of the El Paso Corporation pension plan, which significantly reduced the value of benefits for long term older workers.  In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the pension plan conversion is inconsistent with requirements and disclosure rules under ERISA and the ADEA.
The class definition proposed in the complaint covers any and all persons who:

  1. Are former or current El Paso employees,
  2. Participated in the El Paso Pension Plan on or after the January 1, 2002 date on which the Pension Plan was fully converted to a cash balance design, and
  3. Are over age 40, or will be over age 40 as of the date of the judgment.

Attorneys handling the class action are:

  • Stephen R. Bruce, Washington, D.C., lead counsel
  • Barry Roseman, Denver, CO


El Paso Pension end
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