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Schlichter Bogard & Denton Achieves Historic $55 Million Settlement in Case against ABB

On March 28, 2019, Schlichter Bogard & Denton announced a $55 million settlement in a long-running class action against ABB, Inc. The firm represented participants in the ABB 401(k) plan, who alleged that the company allowed excessive recordkeeping fees to be charged and included high-cost and poorly performing investment options in the plan.   Additionally, the suit alleged that ABB improperly used the retirement savings of its employees and retirees to subsidize its own costs.

Schlichter Bogard & Denton originally filed the case on behalf of the plan’s participants on December 29, 2006. At the time, no firm, nor the U.S. Department of Labor, had ever filed a 401(k) excessive fee case, and it was the first such case to go to a full trial. The plaintiffs obtained a $36.9 million judgment in 2012, which was appealed in two separate actions and twice remanded to the District Court.  Prior to the settlement, the plaintiffs had obtained a court order requiring changes to the plan.  The settlement resolves the amount of plaintiffs’ damages.

“We’re in the thirteenth year fighting ABB’s scorched earth approach, through multiple trials and appeals, and over $50 million it spent to avoid compensating ABB employees and retirees,” said Jerry Schlichter, managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton and lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “We’re now pleased to bring this case to an end, for a settlement amount which is substantially more than the original judgment. In addition, they have already benefitted from reform of the company 401(k) plan, which the court ordered to eliminate excessive fees and self-dealing by ABB to also help ABB employees for the long-term future.”

National coverage of this story may be found here, here, here, and here. For additional information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s ERISA and Financial Abuse practice, please contact Schlichter Bogard & Denton at 1-800-873-5297 or sbd@uselaws.com.