Posts from December 2009.

In an ERISA case pending in the Northern District of Illinois involving breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction claims, the plaintiffs filed a motion asking the court to allow them to proceed in a representative capacity on behalf of the plan under ERISA section 502(a)(2) rather than require them to certify a class under Federal Rule 23.  The District Court in Chicago denied that motion based on the defendants' opposition, and suggested that the case proceed, not as a class action under Federal Rule 23, but as a "derivative action" under Federal Rule 23.1.

ERISA class action litigation has become a niche practice. Originally, ERISA class actions were tag-along suits in securities cases. In recent years, plaintiffs have sought to certify ERISA class actions on a broad variety of breach of fiduciary duty claims. One such variety was the "excessive fees" claim — a claim that the plan sponsor and/or administrator breached its fiduciary duty to a class of plan participants by allowing unreasonable or excessive fees to be charged to the class on the investments offered through the Plan.

Blog Contact:  Joseph Callow, Litigation Partner or 513.579.6419


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