Another Victory for Schlichter Bogard & Denton - U.S. Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit Brought by Lockheed Martin 401(k) Plan Participants to go Forward as a Class
The Supreme Court today declined to overturn a decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals which allows Lockheed employees to bring a class action concerning the fees and investments in their 401(k) plan. This means that the case will go to trial on behalf of over 100,000 Lockheed employees and retirees in the fifth largest 401(k) plan in the United States with over $20 billion in assets. Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corp., No. 12-3736 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2013).
According to the founding partner of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton in St. Louis, who represents the employees and retirees, Jerome Schlichter, the decision by the Supreme Court to allow the case to proceed as a class means that we will now go to a full trial of our claims that Lockheed Martin harmed its employees and retirees by breaching its duty to protect their retirement assets. Because the predominant retirement plan in the country is now the 401(k) model, it is crucial that employers protect their employees retirement assets and enable them to grow. The ruling is a victory for 401(k) investors concerned about having a meaningful retirement plan, and we look forward to the trial.
The Lockheed case is one of a number of cases filed by Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, which launched the field of 401(k) fiduciary breach litigation for excessive fees. Schlichter, Bogard, & Denton won a $50 million judgment from ABB and Fidelity in a case on behalf of ABB employees and retirees in ABBs 401(k) plan, after the first full trial of a 401(k) excessive fee claim in the country. Tussey v. ABB, Inc., Case No. 06-4305 (W.D. Mo.) The firm has also settled cases on behalf of participants in the 401(k) plans of Cigna, International Paper, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Kraft Foods, and Bechtel totaling over $120 million. Nolte v. Cigna Corp., Case No. 07-2046 (C.D.Ill.); Beesley, v. International Paper Company, Case No. 06-703 (S.D.Ill.); Martin v. Caterpillar, Inc., Case No. 07-1009 (C.D.Ill.); Will v. General Dynamics Corp., Case No. 06-698 (S.D.Ill.); Kanawi v. Bechtel Corp., Case No. 06-5566 (N.D.Ca.); George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Case Nos. 07-1713 & 08-3799 (N.D.Ill.).
The firm continues to press claims for employees and retirees in 401(k) plans of other large employers, such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Ameriprise Financial, and Massachusetts Mutual. According to Brightscope, an independent company which reviews 401(k) plans, the effect Mr. Schlichter's firm has had on 401(k) plan fees has been humongous. The NEPC, an independent investment advisory company, stated these high-profile cases have contributed to a 22% reduction in recordkeeping fees paid by the typical American worker since 2006. Additionally, a 2011 survey by the AARP found that 71% of workers do not believe they are paying any fees in their plans. Spano v. Boeing, Case No. 06-743 (S.D.Ill.); Grabek v. Northrop Grumman, Case No. 06-6213 (C.D.Ca.); Kruger v. Ameriprise, Case No. 11-2781 (Minn.); Gordan v. Mass Mutual, Case No. 13-30184 (Mass.).
About Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP
Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP is a unique national law firm that represents individuals, including 401(k) plan investors, whose plans suffer from excessive fees or imprudent investment options. If you have any questions about the fees and investments in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan, please contact Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP toll-free at (800) 873-5297 for a free review of your plan.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The cases discussed do not predict outcomes in future cases. Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.
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