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Joel R. Hurt

Joel R. Hurt is a Partner in Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC.   In his eighteenth year of practice, Joel has represented employees and retirees in more than 50 class action lawsuits throughout the United States for employee benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (or ERISA).

Email:  [email protected]

Joel has successfully litigated claims challenging cuts to company-provided retiree health benefits; claims to remedy imprudent investments by 401(k) plan fiduciaries; and claims challenging the denial or underpayment of pension and healthcare benefits. Representative cases include:

  • Comer v. Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., 2017 WL 5256871 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 13, 2017) (retiree healthcare action on behalf of United Steelworker retirees) (“The action required expertise in ERISA, the Labor Management Relations Act, and Rule 23, and class counsel’s performance evidences a skill rarely demonstrated by the typical class-action litigator in this district.”).
  • Cottillion v. United Refining Co., 2013 WL 1419705 (W.D. Pa. April 8, 2013) (granting summary judgment to plaintiffs that reduction of pension benefits violated ERISA’s anti-cutback rule); 2013 WL 5936368 (W.D.Pa. Nov. 5, 2013) (extending summary judgment to class of pension recipients); 781 F.3d 47 (3d Cir. March 18, 2015) (affirming summary judgment for plaintiffs and class).
  • Kling v. Fidelity Management Trust Co., Case 01-11939 (D. Mass.) ($10.85 million recovery for breach of fiduciary duty related to investment in employer stock in 401(k) plan).
  • Kennedy, et al. v. United Healthcare of Ohio, Inc., Case C2-98-128 (S.D. Ohio) ($1.95 million recovery for the miscalculation of benefits under group medical plans).

Joel is active in the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, serving as Co-Chair of subcommittees within the ABA’s Employee Benefits and Employment Rights & Responsibilities committees. He is also active in The Honorable Amy Reynolds Hay American Inn of Court, where he currently serves as President Elect and on the Executive Board. Additionally, Joel is a member of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee of the AFL-CIO and the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Joel frequently writes and speaks on employee benefits topics. He is a contributing author to two leading ERISA treatises: Employee Benefits Law (5th and 6th editions) (Bloomberg BNA Books) and ERISA Litigation (4th edition) (Bloomberg BNA Books). His recent papers and presentations include:

  • The State of Employer-Sponsored Insurance: Guidance for Employers and Employees, panel presentation at the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee 2018 Midwinter Meeting (March 2018)
  • The Constitutional Limitations of Public Employee Pension Legislation, Revisited, The Public Lawyer, Summer 2017 (with William T. Payne and Ruairi McDonnell)
  • The Fiduciary Rule:  What Employers, Employees, Plans and Service Providers Need to Know, panel presentation at the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee 2017 Midwinter Meeting (March 2017)
  • Retiree Health Claims after Tackett, panel presentation at the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Committee 2016 Midwinter Meeting (February 2016)
  • Response to Collectively Bargained Retiree Health and the  Demise of Yard Man – Perspectives from Counsel for Retirees, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter, Spring 2015 (with Pamina Ewing).

Joel graduated from Westminster College magna cum laude and is a 2000 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is admitted to practice before the courts of Pennsylvania; the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits; and the United States District Courts for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Western District of Tennessee, the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Michigan, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Northern District of Ohio.


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Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC

Pittsburgh Office

429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1300

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: +1 (412) 281-8400

Toll Free: +1 (888) 355-1735

Fax: +1 (412) 281-1007

New York Office

29 Broadway, 24th Floor

New York, NY 10006-3205

Phone: +1 (212) 952-0014