401(k) Participants Survive Motion to Dismiss ERISA Case Against Providence Health

Participants in the 401(k) Plan offered to employees of Providence Health & Services scored a victory today in their case alleging Providence breached their fiduciary duties to the Plan by populating the Plan with imprudent, high cost investments.  In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Judge John C. Coughenour largely denied Providence’s attempt to have the workers’ claims dismissed.

Gregory Porter of Bailey & Glasser’s Washington, D.C., office and Mark G. Boyko of the firm’s St. Louis, Missouri, office are among the lead attorneys for the workers. They allege Providence breached their duties of prudence and loyalty by including high cost mutual funds and allowing the Plan’s recordkeeper, Fidelity, to receive excessive fees. Judge Coughenour ruled for the Plaintiffs on their claim concerning the investments and invited Plaintiffs to supply additional factual allegations with respect to Fidelity’s fees.

“Today’s order recognizes that companies should and must pay attention to their workers’ retirement savings and prudently manage their retirement plans,” said Porter.

The case is now expected to proceed to discovery and class certification. No trial date is currently set.

Bailey & Glasser’s ERISA team is currently representing workers and retirees of other companies, including Franklin Templeton, Edward Jones, and Neuberger Berman, in separate litigation across the country.

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