Court Certifies Class of MIT Retirement Plan Participants
On Friday, October 19, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton granted up to 16,000 MIT employees and retirees certification in their ERISA suit against Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The certified class will include all participants and beneficiaries in the MIT Supplemental 401(k) Plan from August 9, 2010 until the date of judgment, excluding Defendants.
Judge Gorton wrote that class certification was appropriate because plaintiffs had demonstrated through internal university documents that they allegedly suffered damages under the same retirement plan and that “Defendants have not shown that plaintiffs must identify common proof or evidence at the class certification stage.”
Judge Gorton’s opinion echoed the arguments made by Sean Soyars of Schlichter Bogard & Denton, who had argued that regardless of a given employee’s experience under the plan, the class members have a fundamental thing in common: they were all harmed by MIT’s alleged mismanagement of the plan.
The Court also appointed Schlichter Bogard & Denton as class counsel. When asked, Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s managing partner Jerome Schlichter said, “We’re pleased with the Court agreeing with our position that the case should proceed as a class action on behalf of thousands of employees and retirees at MIT. We look forward to taking the case to trial to recover the compensation due to them as a result of MIT’s conduct.”