Seventh Circuit Again Grants Class Certification In Excessive Fee Case

On remand from the Seventh Circuit, a federal district court in Illinois granted class certification in a case where participants in a Boeing 401(k) plan alleged that Boeing breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA by: (i) causing the plan to pay excessive administrative fees; (ii) failing to disclose material information regarding administrative fees; and (iii) investing imprudently in certain mutual funds. Spano v. Boeing Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133948 (S.D. Ill. Sept. 19, 2013). In so ruling, the district court determined that plaintiffs’ decision to create subclasses (one for each of the mutual funds at issue) and limit putative members to individuals who participated in the plan during the time in which the alleged fiduciary breaches occurred properly addressed the Seventh Circuit’s concern that the original class of all plan “participants from the past and future” was impermissibly “breathtaking in scope.”

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