Scott Burnett Smith Quoted in Law360 on Plaintiff Win in 401(k) Mismanagement Suit


Media Mention

Bradley partner Scott Burnett Smith was quoted in Law360 on a Third Circuit opinion in Mator et al. v. Wesco Distribution Inc. et al. A three-judge panel reversed a 2021 dismissal of a suit brought by ERISA plan participants, finding a lower court was wrong to conclude that the suit lacked sufficient recordkeeping fee comparisons to survive dismissal.

Some employer-side attorneys expressed frustration with the Wesco decision. Smith said "the problem with Wesco and all these cases is that they're really just on motions to dismiss. And though you have some circuit opinions that are willing to affirm the dismissal of these class actions in the 401(k) space, there are just as many, if not more, that say the case should proceed beyond that threshold."

Smith explained the Wesco case also shows ERISA class actions with share class allegations are "very difficult to get dismissed."

"That is something that just seems to get everyone's attention — when you're including the exact same shares in a plan, but making the participants pay more for them, when your institutional heft would you allow to otherwise purchase" access to cheaper shares, Smith said.

The full article, “4 Big ERISA Decisions From The 1st Half Of 2024,” was published by Law360 on June 14, 2024. (login required)