Federal Court Rules That Class Action Brought by Schlichter Bogard on Behalf of Liberty Mutual Retirement Plan Participants Will Move Forward

A Massachusetts federal court on Tuesday ruled that an ERISA class action lawsuit filed by Schlichter Bogard & Denton on behalf of Liberty Mutual Group Inc. (“Liberty Mutual”) 401(k) plan participants will proceed in federal court.

On April 10, 2020, Schlichter Bogard & Denton filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Liberty Mutual on behalf of participants in its $7 billion, 50,000+ participant 401(k) plan. The complaint—filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and styled Ahmed et al. v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc. et al.—asserted various allegations against Liberty Mutual and its plan administrators. The plan participants represented by Schlichter Bogard & Denton alleged, among other things, that Liberty Mutual “allowed unreasonable expenses to be charged to participants for administration of the plan and for managed account services, and retained poorly performing investments that similarly situated fiduciaries removed from their plans”–actions that the complaint alleged caused plan participants to suffer significant financial losses.

On June 3, 2020, Liberty Mutual moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the plan participants had failed to sufficiently plead facts to support their excessive fee claims and relied solely on “speculative and conclusory” evidence.

On June 15, 2021, a federal judge denied Liberty Mutual’s motion to dismiss, stating: “Contrary to [Liberty Mutual’s] arguments, [the participants’] allegations are not conclusory because they include specific facts, rather than mere legal conclusions or elements of the claim.” The Court additionally ruled that Liberty Mutual cannot evade the complaint’s allegations regarding excessive recordkeeping fees and underperformance of investment funds.

Schlichter Bogard & Denton Managing Partner Jerry Schlichter stated: “We are encouraged by this ruling and  look forward to advocating on Liberty Mutual workers’ and retirees’ behalf to achieve a just result.”

We are proud to be pioneers in 401(k) and 403(b) litigation. Visit our website to learn more about other high-impact cases handled by Schlichter Bogard & Denton. For additional information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s retirement practice, please contact us at 800-873-5297 or via email at contact@uselaws.com.