Schlichter Bogard & Denton Files Brief in Action Before the United States Supreme Court on Behalf of Northwestern Retirement Plan Participants
As previously reported, a case brought by Schlichter Bogard & Denton on behalf of Northwestern retirement plan participants is scheduled to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. Originally filed in 2016, the Northwestern case revolves around plan participants’ challenge to Northwestern’s retirement plan investments and fees. The Supreme Court on July 2, 2021 accepted plan participants’ writ of certiorari and will review the Seventh Circuit’s decision affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the case.
As reported by Law360, Schlichter Bogard & Denton on September 3, 2021 filed its Brief for Petitioners on behalf of the Northwestern retirement plan participants. Therein, the plan participants represented by Schlichter Bogard & Denton argue that the Seventh Circuit erred in its previous decision to dismiss the case when it wrongly concluded that Northwestern circumvented liability for depleting workers’ retirement savings through excessive fees by simply offering their workers a multitude of retirement options at varying costs. The Brief asserts that “in characterizing choice as an unabashed virtue, the Seventh Circuit disregarded [the workers’] well-pleaded allegations that offering too many duplicative choices caused harm.” The Brief further contends that the Seventh Circuit “inverted…applicable pleading standard[s]” by impermissibly viewing the alleged facts in a light most favorable to Northwestern, as opposed to that of the workers, potentially “voiding Congress’ intent to protect beneficiaries[’]” interests first and foremost and subsequently making it “extremely difficult for ERISA participants to bring a lawsuit” in the future.
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