Dignity Health Settlement

Welcome to the Rollins v. Dignity Health settlement website. Class Counsel is maintaining this website to provide Settlement Class Members with information and access to the key documents about the proposed settlement of this class action (the “Settlement”) and the final approval hearing in the United States District Court that is set for March 3, 2022. The content of this website is the responsibility of Class Counsel and has not been approved by the Court.

This website gives you access to the Settlement Agreement  and other relevant documents, including the Class Notice  approved by the Court. Please be sure to read the Settlement Agreement and the Class Notice for detailed information about the proposed Settlement, its effect on you, and your rights to participate in the final hearing.    

Background

The facts of the case and how it proceeded are summarized in the Class Notice, which you can access here . In short, Plaintiff Starla Rollins filed this case in 2013, against Dignity Health and others, alleging that they were improperly treating the Dignity Health Pension Plan (the “Plan”) as a “church plan” and were not complying with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Rollins alleged that as a result, the Plan was placing participants and beneficiaries at risk by, among other things, underfunding the Plan, failing to furnish Plan participants with ERISA-required notices, failing to allow certain employees’ benefits to vest in less than five years, and failing to purchase insurance for the Plan from the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (“PBGC”). Dignity and the other defendants denied all these claims.

Rollins obtained favorable rulings in the District Court and the Court of Appeals, but the United States Supreme Court reversed those rulings and remanded the rest of the case back to the District Court. The litigation began to move forward again, with additional claims by an added plaintiff, Patricia Wilson. However, at the same time, the parties began a mediation process that led to a proposed settlement. After some further proceedings, three new plaintiffs intervened in the lawsuit as plaintiffs, negotiated additional terms, and the parties all agreed to the Settlement in its current proposed form. On October 19, 2021, the Honorable Jon S. Tigar granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and ordered notice of a final approval hearing to be given to all Class members. 
 

The Settlment Class

You are in the Settlement Class if you are a member of this group: 

All participants, former participants, or beneficiaries of the Dignity Health Pension Plan as of the date of full execution of this Settlement Agreement. 

The Settlement Class includes two subgroups, the Vesting Subclass and the PEP Plus Claimants, defined below. 

Vesting Subclass: The members of the Settlement Class who are former Participants in the Cash Balance portion of the Plan who terminated employment on or after April 1, 2013, and on or before March 27, 2019, and completed at least three (3) but less than five (5) years of vesting service.

PEP Plus Claimants: All participants, former participants, or beneficiaries of the Plan as of January 1, 2014, whose benefit accruals were calculated using the “PEP Plus” formula and who, between January 1 and April 1, 2014, were not members of the labor union that collectively bargained with Dignity regarding the 2014 changes to PEP Plus accrual formula and who were negatively impacted by the 2014 changes.

The Settlement Class does not include any participants or their beneficiaries who become eligible to participate in the Plan after the date of full execution of this Settlement Agreement.
 

What's in the Settlement

The largest part of the Settlement, which has a value greatly in excess of One Hundred Million Dollars, is in the form of minimum deposits of funds to the Plan over five years. These deposits will not result in an increase of individual Class Members’ retirement benefits, but instead enhance the funding of the Plan and the Plan’s ability to pay benefits in the future.  

Certain members of the Settlement Class, who are either PEP Plus Claimants or members of the Vesting Subclass, have additional claims for which they will receive a one-time payment.  

Please refer to the Settlement for a full description of the benefits of the Settlement, as well as the release of claims that Dignity will receive if the Settlement is approved.
 

Can you exclude yourself from the Settlement?

You do not have the right to exclude yourself from the Settlement. This is explained in detail in the Class Notice. Although members of the Settlement Class, including the Vesting Subclass, cannot opt-out of the Settlement, they can object to the Settlement and ask the Court not to approve the Settlement.

Do you have a lawyer in the Action?

The law firms of Keller Rohrback L.L.P. and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC have been appointed as Settlement Class Counsel by the Court to represent Named Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class (“Class Counsel”). The law firm of Izard, Kindall & Raabe, LLP has been appointed as Vesting Subclass Counsel by the Court to represent Intervenors and the Vesting Subclass (“Vesting Subclass Counsel”). You will not be charged directly by these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel and Vesting Subclass Counsel will apply for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses, and Incentive Awards for the Named Plaintiffs and the Intervenors. To the extent awarded by the Court, these amounts will be paid by the Defendants in addition to the rest of the Settlement. Please refer to the Settlement  and the Class Notice for more information about the proposed awards and your right to object.  

How do you tell the Court if you don’t like the Settlement?

Any Settlement Class Member can object to the Settlement by following the procedures explained in the Class Notice by the objection deadline, which the Court has set for January 28, 2022.  

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing by Zoom videoconference only on March 3, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. PST. More information can be found in the Class Notice.

Contact

If you are a Settlement Class Member and you have questions regarding the Settlement, please contact Class Counsel at (888) 689-1315 or via email at DignitySettlement@KellerRohrback.com

If you are a member of the Vesting Subclass and you have questions regarding the Settlement, please contact Vesting Subclass Counsel, Izard, Kindall & Raabe, LLP, (860) 493-6292, or email, ofaircloth@ikrlaw.com, or visit https://ikrlaw.com/file/DignityHealth.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT. THE COURT PERSONNEL WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS.
 

Note: Intervenor Plaintiffs' separate Motion for Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Incentive Awards can be accessed on Intervenor Plaintiffs' settlement website at https://ikrlaw.com/file/DignityHealth/.