Case News

Wawa ESOP Case News – Order Denying Wawa’s Motion for Reconsideration

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration or, in the Alternative, Interlocutory Appeal, in Pfeifer v. Wawa, Inc., No. 16-497-PD. Plaintiffs Greg Pfeifer and Andy Dorley allege that Wawa Defendants violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by liquidating the Wawa stock held in the ESOP accounts of former Wawa employees in September 2015. The Court had previously denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims that (1) they were entitled to benefits under the terms of the ESOP at the time they terminated Wawa employment, and (2) the forced transfer or distribution of their ESOP accounts violated ERISA’s anti-cutback rule.  The Court re-affirmed its prior rulings, stating that the Third Circuit has applied unilateral contract doctrines to ERISA pension plans and that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that Wawa defendants deducted a distribution fee from their ESOP accounts as a result of the forced liquidation.  Dan Feinberg of Feinberg, Jackson, Worthman & Wasow LLP is co-counsel for the proposed class.  For further information about this case, contact Dan Feinberg. A copy of the January 11 Order is here.