Einhorn v. M.L. Ruberton Construction Co., 2011 WL 182131 (3d Cir., January 21, 2011) – In this case, the plaintiff brought suit under ERISA on behalf of employee benefit funds to recover unpaid contributions allegedly owed by the defendant, which had purchased the prior employer’s assets. The prior employer had been required to make the contributions pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. The court held that a purchaser of assets may indeed be liable for a seller’s delinquent ERISA contributions to vindicate important federal statutory policy where the buyer had notice of the liability prior to the sale and there exists sufficient evidence of continuity of operations between the buyer and seller. The court said the issue should be decided on a case-by-case basis, balancing the equities between the two sides and mindful of ERISA’s purpose of protecting the benefits promised to employees under existing employment relationships.

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