Donald L. Havermann represents clients in ERISA and labor litigation matters. He defends fiduciaries, plans, and plan sponsors in class actions, single-plaintiff and multiplaintiff suits, and Department of Labor (DOL) investigations involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, ERISA statutory violations, and improper benefit denials under applicable plan documents. He also partners with airline, trucking, and other corporate clients in matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act.
Donald is defending multiple clients and their welfare benefit plans in two “mass action” cases involving insurance company methodologies for paying out-of-network medical claims. He also defended five ERISA stock-drop class actions and a “fees and expenses” class action involving two 401(k) plans with several billion dollars in assets. His advice also covers ERISA compliance issues, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, benefit claims administration, and litigation risk avoidance.
Two of his labor litigation cases involved cutting-edge federal labor law preemption issues, one of which resulted in an important victory for an airline client in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also successfully represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and several US District Courts and US Courts of Appeals. He’s also represented employers in collective bargaining and labor contract arbitration matters.
As counsel to several Taft Hartley trust funds, Donald advises and represents plan trustees on the complex statutory and regulatory scheme that governs employee benefit plan administration. He also served as trial counsel for a large multiemployer pension fund in a breach of fiduciary duty and federal common law case that involved unique issues of adverse actuarial selection.
His employee benefits litigation cases have covered such complex issues as fiduciary prudence misrepresentations, prohibited transactions, preemption of state laws, and independent contractor status. He also litigates issues surrounding the application of anticutback, forfeiture, and reporting and disclosure rules.
Donald has spoken on ERISA litigation and related issues at the Construction Industry Benefits Conference of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; the US Chamber of Commerce; and the ABA Section of Public Utility, Communication, and Transportation Law.
University of Virginia, 1976, B.S.
University of Virginia School of Law, 1980, J.D.
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017)
Winner, The National Law Journal’s Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment (2014)
Listed, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers for Employee Benefits/ERISA (2013–2015)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, ABA Litigation Section
Member, District of Columbia Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section