Outside Publication

Advocate Heath Care Network v. Stapleton – Supreme Court Blesses Hospital Systems’ Interpretation of ERISA’s Church Plan Exemption

October 2017

A little more than four years ago, plaintiffs began filing a wave of putative classaction lawsuits against pension plans sponsored by religiouslyaffiliated nonprofit hospitals, challenging their designation as ‘‘church plans’’ under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 19741 (ERISA), among other things. Before wending its way to the United States Supreme Court this past term, the controversy would encompass more than three dozen lawsuits filed across the nation withn billions of dollars at stake.

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