I've held out hope that the Supreme Court would grant the petition for writ of certiorari in Amschwand v. Spherion, 505 F.3d 342 (5th Cir. 2007). I blogged about that decision when it was originally decided and again when the Supremes asked for input from the Solicitor General. But last Friday the Court denied the writ. Disappointed am I.
So the double standard on the application of "appropriate equitable relief" under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1132(a)(3) will persist. In the meantime, how many individuals who suffer a direct financial loss due to a breach of ERISA's fiduciary duties will have no remedy? At the same time, ERISA fiduciaries have the ability to pursue plan participants and beneficiaries for recovery of money based on the terms of their benefit plans: prototypical legal rather than equitable relief.
Either Congress or the Supreme Court must act to address this glaring absurdity.