Robbins Geller Achieves $61 Million Settlement in Record-Setting ERISA Case
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and co-counsel have reached a $61 million settlement, pending final approval, in a case against General Electric Company, GE Asset Management (“GEAM”), and the fiduciaries of GE’s retirement plan. The case was brought by participants in GE’s retirement plan who alleged defendants breached their fiduciary duties to act prudently and in the best interest of the plan participants in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) by improperly including poorly performing proprietary mutual funds as investment options in the plan. The settlement is the largest ever in an ERISA case alleging a retirement plan improperly offered proprietary funds.
Plaintiffs alleged that the only actively managed funds available to participants were proprietary funds managed by GE’s wholly owned subsidiary GEAM. Plaintiffs also alleged that even though those funds underperformed comparable non-proprietary investment options, GE refused to consider replacing those funds or the managers, causing more than $200 million in losses to plan participants.
During the same time GE failed to replace the funds or the managers, it explored the sale of GEAM, and ultimately sold GEAM to State Street for $485 million. Plaintiffs allege defendants retained the underperforming funds to keep GEAM’s assets under management elevated to maximize the value of GEAM in the sale and to collect tens of millions of dollars in fees. GE then used proceeds from the GEAM sale to pay down debt GE owed to its underfunded defined benefit plan.
Plan participants represented by Robbins Geller and co-counsel prosecuted the case for nearly six years before reaching the settlement, largely defeating defendants’ motion to dismiss, conducting extensive fact and expert discovery, and achieving certification of a class of approximately 220,000 plan participants allegedly harmed by defendants’ conduct. The settlement received preliminary approval on October 20, 2023 and is pending final approval.
Robbins Geller attorney Evan J. Kaufman was appointed by the court as one of the lead counsel for the class. Samuel H. Rudman, Jonah H. Goldstein, and Magdalene Economou also prosecuted the case.
About Robbins Geller
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading complex litigation firms, representing plaintiffs in securities fraud, shareholder derivative, antitrust, corporate takeover, and consumer fraud and privacy cases. With 200 lawyers in 10 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the world’s largest plaintiffs’ firms, and the Firm’s attorneys have obtained many of the largest securities, antitrust, and consumer class action recoveries in history.
The Firm is ranked #1 on the most recent ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering more than $1.75 billion for investors in 2022 — the third year in a row Robbins Geller tops the list. And in those three years alone, Robbins Geller recovered nearly $5.3 billion for investors, more than double the amount recovered by any other plaintiffs’ firm. The Firm secured the largest-ever securities fraud class action settlement — $7.2 billion — in In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation.
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In re GE ERISA Litigation, No. 1:17-cv-12123-IT (D. Mass.).
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