American Airlines Pilot Plan USERRA Contribution Litigation

By providing your information, either on paper, electronically or through a website, you consent to us storing and using your information. Our site uses tracking technologies to tailor your experience and understand how you and other visitors use our site. By continuing to navigate this site you consent to use of these tracking technologies. For more information on how we use your personal data, please read our Privacy Policy.

American Airlines Pilot Plan USERRA Contribution Litigation
Home
Home
Notice
Notice
Court Documents
Court Documents
Contact Settlement Administrator
Contact Settlement Administrator

Update on the Status of Settlement As of June 19, 2018 & Expected Timing of Distribution


Class Counsel recently received a decision by the Court related to the payment of certain expenses (to certain advisors including bankruptcy counsel, a tax advisor and the settlement administrator).  Class Counsel is in the process of having calculations performed to enable distributions to be paid to class members.  Counsel expects that the payments will be made in the Fourth Quarter 2018.  You should check this website for updates if distribution will be later than that.



Notices were sent to individuals who were identified by the Defendants and the Plan Administrator of the American Airlines, Inc. Pilot Retirement Benefit Program Variable Income Plan on September 6, 2016.  If you did not receive notice before September 11, 2016, and you believe that you are a Class Member, please contact the Settlement Administrator by email at info@aapilotsuserraclassaction.com or by calling 1-877-236-6116.


The information contained on this web page is only a summary of information presented in more detail in the Notice of Proposed Class Action (the “Notice”), which you can access by clicking here. The Notice is also available at https://www.aapilots.com/private/news/current_news.asp?content_id=62105. Since this website is just a summary, you should review the Notice for additional information.

If you are a Class Member, your legal rights will be affected by the Settlement whether you act or do not act.

Please read the Notice carefully.

  • An American Airlines pilot (the “Plaintiff”) has sued the American Airlines, Inc. Pilot Retirement Program Variable Income Plan and the fiduciaries of the plan, (the “Defendants”) in connection with pension contributions that were made to pilots’ accounts in the Variable Income Plan (“the Plan”) in a manner that the Plaintiff alleges did not comply with USERRA (i.e., the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) and ERISA (i.e., the Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

  • The Court has determined that the lawsuit can proceed as a class action on behalf of a group of American Airlines pilots who are or were participants in the Plan, who, after becoming an American Airlines employee, completed a period of qualified military service that lasted 30 days or more and ended on or after January 1, 1997, and who meet certain other conditions specified in the full class definition. 

  • Under the Settlement, you may be eligible to receive an additional employer contribution to your Plan account if you took one or more military leaves each lasting 30 days or more during your employment as a pilot with American Airlines.  To the extent feasible, the amount to be paid will be made as an additional employer contribution to your Plan account.  

  • The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement.  In order for the Settlement to become final and any payments to be distributed, the Court will need to issue final approval after a final approval hearing, which is currently scheduled for January 27, 2017. 

PLEASE READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE CLASS, THIS SETTLEMENT WILL AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.

SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS & OPTIONS

ALL MEMBERS OF THE CLASSES

 

OPTION #1:  DO NOTHING.  If the Settlement is approved by the Court, it will be allocated pursuant to a Plan of Allocation approved by the Court.

OPTION #2: CHALLENGE DEFENDANTS’ DATA.  You may challenge the data provided by Defendants that were used to calculate your estimated loss/damages or determine whether you are a Class Member.  A successful challenge may change the amount you are entitled to receive under the Settlement.

OPTION #3: OBJECT/COMMENT.  Write to the Court and explain why you do not like one or more aspects of the proposed Settlement, the proposed Plan of Allocation, or the request for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses and costs.  You must do so by no later than November 4, 2016.

OPTION #4:  EXCLUDE. You may opt out of the Settlement by writing to the Court by November 4, 2016.




What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit is a class action brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (“USERRA”) and the Employee Retirement Security Income Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).  The Class Representative who brought the lawsuit is an American Airline pilot who has participated in the American Airlines, Inc. Pilot Retirement Program Variable Income Plan (“the Plan” or “the Variable Income Plan”).  Defendants are the Plan and the fiduciaries of the Plan. 

 

The lawsuit claims that the Plan adopted a policy for determining and making pension contributions to pilots’ Plan accounts in a manner that did not comply with USERRA.  The lawsuit alleges that the earnings that were used under the policy to calculate employer contributions for periods of Long-Term Military Leave were based on, for example, the monthly minimum flight hours guaranteed under the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement, and that instead the Plan should have used earnings that were based on each pilot’s own average monthly hours from the 12 months prior to military leave.  The lawsuit also claims that the Plan’s fiduciaries violated ERISA by failing to make sure that the Plan received proper amounts of employer contributions and by failing to take action to collect such amounts. 

 

Defendants have denied the claims in this lawsuit and maintain that, even if Defendants are found liable under USERRA or ERISA, Plaintiff and other members of the Class are not entitled to relief.

 

Who is included in the Class?

The Class is defined as  

 

            (a)        All current and former American Airlines pilots who are or were participants in      the American Airlines, Inc. Pilot Retirement Program Variable Income Plan (“the Variable Income Plan” or “the Plan”) and

 

(1)           who, after becoming an American Airlines employee, completed a period of qualified military service that lasted 30 days or more and ended on or after January 1, 1997; and

 

(2)           who, with respect to any such period of qualified military service, did not receive a pension contribution into the Variable Income Plan based on the pilot’s own average rate of compensation during the 12 months prior to the commencement of the pilot’s period of qualified military service (or if shorter, the period of employment immediately preceding such period of qualified military service); and

 

(3)           whose average rate of compensation during the 12 months prior to any period of qualified military service (or, if shorter, the period of employment immediately preceding such period of military leave) exceeded the monthly rate of compensation that was actually used to determine the pension contribution for the pilot’s period of qualified military service, as determined under either of the methodologies used in the parties’ negotiations.

 

            (b)        The beneficiaries of all such participants.

 

Excluded from the Settlement Class are the following persons: (a) all former or current pilots who previously reached settlements with or judgments against American resolving or releasing any claims arising during the class period under USERRA and/or ERISA related to inadequate pension contributions for periods of military leave; and (b) any person who served as a fiduciary of the Variable Income Plan and their beneficiaries under the Variable Income Plan and any member of the immediate family and any heirs, successors or assigns of any such person. 

 

If you are included in the above definition, you are included in the Class unless you exclude yourself.  If you are unsure whether you are included in the Class, you can contact the lawyers representing the Class by telephone or e-mail.  Their contact information is listed below.

 

What Does the Settlement Provide?

The proposed Settlement requires that $500,000 be paid in cash and $4.45 million be paid in shares of American Airlines Group (“AAG”) stock.  Class counsel anticipates that all of the stock will be liquidated (i.e. converted to cash) before distribution.  The $500,000 cash amount is required to be deposited into the escrow account no later 15 days after the Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement.  Because AMR Corporation, the previous holding company of American Airlines, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, the $4.45 million in AAG stock will be paid out of what is called the Disputed Claims Reserve (“DCR”), which is a segregated fund established as part of the Chapter 11 proceeding and created under a confirmed plan of reorganization to satisfy certain unsecured claims and deposited into the Settlement Fund.  The distribution of the stock requires the bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York to approve the Settlement and distribution of the AAG stock, which Defendants have agreed to seek.  After deducting certain amounts, including attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, notice and settlement administration costs, DCR related tax expenses, and any awards as described below, the remaining Settlement Fund will be distributed to Class Members under a proposed distribution methodology called the Plan of Allocation, described below unless modified by the Court.

 

The Court has not ruled on liability or relief.  This Notice is not to be understood as an expression of opinion by the Court as to the merits of any claim or defense. This Notice does not imply that there has been any violation of law or that the Class will recover if the lawsuit is not settled and instead is resolved in Court by trial or otherwise.

 

Further Information:

This website contains only a summary of the proposed Settlement and your rights as a potential Class Member.  Full details of the Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement and certain other documents about the litigation available on Court Documents tab on this website. 

 

Please do not contact the American Airlines or any of the Defendants about this Settlement. They may not be able to give you additional information.


If you have any questions about the Notice, or the lawsuit, you may contact Lead Class Counsel or the Settlement Administrator listed below.


Lead Class Counsel:

R. Joseph Barton, Esq.
Ming Siegel, Paralegal
Block & Leviton LLP
1735 20th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-734-7046
Email: 
AAUSERRA@blockesq.com

Settlement Administrator:

American Pilot USERRA
Settlement Administrator
c/o A.B. Data, Ltd.
P.O. Box 170500
Milwaukee, WI 53217
1 (877) 236-6116
info@aapilotsuserraclassaction.com



Remember to include “American Airlines Pilot Plan USERRA Contribution Litigation on any correspondence, envelope, and/or subject line.
adobe reader imageYou will need Adobe Reader to view documents on this site. You can learn more about Adobe Reader and download the latest version by clicking here.