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Third Circuit Reinstates ERISA Class Action Brought by Schlichter Bogard & Denton on Behalf of University of Pennsylvania Retirement Plan Participants

On May 2, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated an ERISA class action against the University of Pennsylvania handled by Schlichter Bogard & Denton

In the case, workers and retirees alleged that the defendants allowed excessive fees to be charged and included high cost and poorly performing investment options in the University of Pennsylvania’s retirement plan.  The Court of Appeals, reversing the district court’s 2017 dismissal of two counts in the lawsuit, held that it is not enough for retirement plan fiduciaries to simply offer a wide range of investment options.  “The law expects more than good intentions,” wrote the majority. “[A] pure heart and an empty head are not enough.”

The court also ruled that, despite their lack of inside information regarding the plan’s fiduciaries’ practices, the plaintiffs had included enough detail in their complaint to survive dismissal. “The opinion recognizes the complete impossibility of having to allege the intricacies of a fiduciary process that [plan participants are] not a party to,” said Jerry Schlichter, managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton.

Coverage of this story may be found hereherehere 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.