Varity Corp. v. Howe: Alive and Well Despite Amara!

Jul 17, 2018
Virginia Lawyer

Welcome to the Richardson Law Firm PC's page dedicated to discussing the ongoing significance of the Varity Corp. v. Howe case, even in light of the subsequent Amara ruling. As a leading authority in the field of employee benefits and ERISA-related matters, we aim to provide you with valuable insights into this landmark case and its implications for your legal rights.

1. Introduction

Varity Corp. v. Howe is a case that has made a lasting impact in the realm of employee benefits law. Despite the Amara ruling, which some consider to have overshadowed this landmark case, Varity Corp. v. Howe remains highly relevant and influential.

2. Background of Varity Corp. v. Howe

Varity Corp. v. Howe, decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1996, involved a class-action lawsuit against Varity Corporation on the basis of employee benefits fraud. The case centered around the issue of misrepresentation and concealment of crucial information regarding employee benefits by the company.

The Supreme Court held that Varity Corp. breached its fiduciary duty to its employees by providing misleading information regarding their retirement benefits. This case set an important precedent for holding employers accountable for misrepresenting employee benefits and violating their fiduciary obligations.

2.1 The Amara Ruling

In 2011, the Supreme Court issued another significant ruling in the case of CIGNA Corp. v. Amara. This ruling modified certain aspects of the legal framework established by Varity Corp. v. Howe.

While the Amara case introduced some clarifications and additional requirements concerning the remedy available in cases of fiduciary breaches, it did not diminish the relevance and importance of Varity Corp. v. Howe itself.

3. Continuing Significance and Implications

Despite the Amara ruling, Varity Corp. v. Howe has continued to shape the field of ERISA litigation and has been frequently cited by courts across the country. The central principle established by Varity Corp. v. Howe, which holds employers accountable for misrepresentations and breaches of fiduciary duties related to employee benefits, remains a bedrock of employee benefit laws.

Employers must still be cautious in their practices, ensuring they provide accurate and comprehensive information about employee benefits. The consequences for failing to meet fiduciary obligations can be severe, leading to significant financial liabilities and reputational damage.

3.1 Expert Employee Benefits Legal Advice

At Richardson Law Firm PC, we understand the complexities of ERISA laws and employee benefits litigation. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in Varity Corp. v. Howe and other relevant cases, allowing us to provide expert legal advice to individuals and companies facing issues related to employee benefits.

Whether you are an employee seeking to protect your rights or an employer striving to comply with ERISA requirements and avoid legal pitfalls, our dedicated attorneys are ready to assist you.

4. Conclusion

The Varity Corp. v. Howe case continues to be a landmark in the field of employee benefits law, despite the Amara ruling. Its significance lies in establishing the standard for employers to fulfill their fiduciary duties and provide accurate and transparent information concerning employee benefits. Employers must remain vigilant in upholding these obligations to avoid costly legal battles.

Contact Richardson Law Firm PC today to speak with our knowledgeable attorneys who specialize in employee benefits and ERISA law. We are here to guide you and provide the legal expertise necessary to protect your interests.

Tricia Keller
Great article! Varity Corp. v. Howe remains highly relevant, even after the Amara ruling. The Richardson Law Firm provides valuable insights into the implications of this landmark case for employees' legal rights. It's essential to stay informed about employee benefits and ERISA-related matters. Well done!
Nov 11, 2023