OSF HealthCare System

Smith v. OSF HealthCare System
United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Case No. 16-467

Case Overview

Plaintiffs allege that OSF HealthCare System (“OSF”), an Illinois non-profit healthcare conglomerate, improperly claims that two of its defined benefit pension plans, The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis Employees Pension Plan and the Retirement Plan for Employees of Saint Anthony’s Health Center (collectively, the “Plans”), are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), a federal law regulating pension plans. OSF claims that it need not comply with ERISA because of a statutory exemption for “church plans.”

Plaintiffs allege that the Plans do not meet the various statutory requirements for church plans. Further, Plaintiffs allege that if the statute exempting church plans did apply to the OSF Plans, the statute would, to that extent, be unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are violating ERISA by, among other things:

  • failing to furnish Plaintiffs or any member of the proposed Class with Summary Plan Descriptions, Summary Annual Reports, Notifications of Failure to Meet Minimum Funding, or Funding Notices;
  • under-funding the Plans; and
  • failing to file annual reports with respect to the Plans with the Secretary of Labor.

Case Status

Judge Staci M. Yandle granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on September 28, 2018. Plaintiffs appealed the district court’s decision and on August 13, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

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