High Court Declines to Hear Lockheed Martin Appeal
The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal submitted by Lockheed Martin Corp. in a suit filed by employees who claim the company failed to responsibly manage their retirement plan. In August the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision and said that the lawsuit, filed in 2006, met requirements to proceed as a class action. Lawsuit Details According to court documents, Lockheed Martin employees claim that the company did not perform their fiduciary duties regarding investments in the Hueler FirstSource Index, a stable-value fund where some retirement funds were invested. Lawyers say that the poor management of the fund was a violation of ERISA standards, as they were not properly structured stable-value products. Employees who were covered by the plan from September 2001 to September 2006 are eligible to join the class action lawsuit. Lockheed Martin Appeal The company appealed a decision that the case could continue with class action standing, indicating that the named plaintiffs could not show they had been harmed by the management of the retirement fund. Lockheed Martin pointed to the fact that only one of the named plaintiffs, Lloyd DeMartini, had actually invested in Hueler FirstSource Index, and that the fund performed well during his participation. The lower appeals court disagreed and ordered the case to continue as a class action, and the decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the case allows the trial to proceed. Large Number of Employees The fund is one of the largest 401(k) accounts in the country, and this decision could allow as many as 56,000 employees to seek compensation under the class action. Experts called this a victory for investors in 401(k) plans, as those who lose money in funds that are mismanaged can proceed as a group rather than individually. When mismanagement of an account by an individual or a company is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in a financial transaction that causes loss of income or revenue, a liability complaint may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding mismanagement where financial loss may have been caused or worsened by someone else’s decisions.