An employee improperly accesses his employer’s computer network and steals the names, birthdates, and social security numbers of his fellow employees to use for illegal financial gain. A criminal hacks into that same network for similar illegal purposes. Because employers regularly obtain, store, and use confidential employee personally identifiable information (“PII”) as part of their business operations, they are targets for this kind of activity. But what legal responsibility do employers have to their employees when PII is misappropriated by an employee, or stolen by hackers in a data breach? Two Pennsylvania courts have recently shined some light on this issue. In both cases, which involved large-scale data breaches affecting thousands of employees, the courts absolved the employers of any potential liability because either (1) they owed no duty in tort to their employees to protect PII against data breaches or (2) the employer had no express or implied contractual obligation to protect the PII. Read more
Ann Caresani focuses her practice on employee benefits, ERISA, ESOPs, and executive compensation. She counsels employers on the design, administration, and termination of their employee benefit programs, including tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation arrangements.
Ann defends employers, plan administrators, trustees, banks, insurers, investment managers, and other fiduciaries and service providers in ERISA litigation matters, including class action pension claims, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) breach of fiduciary claims, multi-employer plan breach of fiduciary duty claims regarding investment management, bankruptcy trustee claims involving 403(b) plan assets, executive compensation top-hat benefit claims, and denial of medical and disability benefit claims.
Scott J. Stitt
Scott Stitt has a national litigation practice, focusing on ERISA and related employment and business disputes. He has served as lead trial counsel representing corporations, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and defined benefit plan trustees, physicians and medical practice groups, and individuals in complex class action litigation in Ohio, New York, Illinois, California, Indiana, Missouri, and other jurisdictions.
Scott is experienced in ERISA criminal and civil disputes, including DOL and IRS audits and investigations, benefit claim disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, alleged prohibited transactions, and executive compensation and employment issues. He has extensive experience with ESOPs, and has served as both litigation counsel and special counsel to ESOP trustees and other ERISA fiduciaries.
Corine Corpora has been actively involved in the employee benefits community for over 20 years. Corine’s client service experience includes representing all sizes of privately and publicly held organizations in the manufacturing, healthcare, information, food and beverage, and education industries, among others. She counsels clients with respect to qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, welfare and fringe benefit plans, and executive compensation, as well as incentive and stock-based compensation and rewards programs. She also advises clients on the complex rules governing ESOPs, has successfully defended ESOPs on audit, and currently counsels several ESOP-owned clients. Corine often works directly with clients’ accountants, actuaries, third-party advisors, and other service providers to address administrative and compliance issues.
Christine Snyder defends employers in litigation matters including wage and hour class actions and discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, wrongful discharge, and ERISA disputes.
Bill Berglund achieves diverse solutions to complex legal problems for pharmaceutical, medical device, and other product manufacturers in federal and state court litigation nationwide. Bill also represents and counsels hospitals, individual health care providers, and other regulated businesses with respect to medical privacy and data security issues and federal and state law compliance.
Zachary LaFleur focuses his practice on general corporate, tax, and employee benefits matters.