In a Mass Mutual 401k Litigation, an account holder is permitted to file a wrongful death or other claims against the company. The account holder must join as a member of the class action and should state his/her claim before a judge. If both parties are in agreement, the judge then renders a decision in the case and directs the company to compensate the injured party. However if the judge declines to deal with the complaint, then the account holder has the right to appeal before the Employment Relations Commission.
The employees that may be entitled to claim a wrongful death may include: retired employees, disabled workers and widow/widower survivors.
The employee may have been receiving compensation for some years when he/she dies. The judge will also look into the nature of the compensation received and whether it would have been more advantageous if the employee had remained working. The case can only be filed when death has occurred within two years of the date of separation or retirement. In such circumstances, the claim has to be filed within one year of the date of separation or retirement.
In addition, the claim has to relate to the cause of death.
The details of the cause of death can be proved either through medical records or from the police reports. For cases involving sudden or unnatural deaths, a doctor’s certificate is required. The certificate will show the cause of death. However, if the case has nothing to do with death, then no certificate is necessary.
Claims for wrongful deaths may be lodged against the company for breach of contract, safety regulations, occupational health and safety, product liability, advertising claims and negligence claims.
The court may also award compensation for pain and suffering and physical disability. The judge may order reparations for lost wages and for funeral expenses.
The next step in the case is the trier of fact.
This is a person who will decide whether the case has sufficient evidence to proceed. If not, the case may be dismissed. Attorneys handling such cases work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore they only get their fees when their client wins the case.
There is a limitation on the type of damages that can be awarded in massmutual liability cases.
These include punitive damages, but only up to a certain amount. If a company fails to maintain its investment, it may be ordered to pay for the cost of damages. Also, the company may be forced to pay for the loss of rental properties, office space, computer equipment and advertising.