A judge has approved a $107 million settlement in a class action suit against St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, in which the Catholic Church-affiliated hospital argued that its pension plan was exempt from federal regulations.

The issue of whether a nonchurch entity may establish a “church plan” that’s exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was a matter of first impression for courts under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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