AUSTIN, Texas — Four class-action suits were filed Sept. 20 on behalf of 401(k) participants of Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas. The suits allege Dell and plan administrators violated ERISA provisions regarding company stock investments in Dell's $1.6 billion 401(k) plan, said Ed Mills, a lawyer with Stull, Stull, & Brody. Attorneys for Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, Stull, Stull & Brody, Scott + Scott LLC, and Charles H. Johnson & Associates all filed separate suits in U.S. District Court in Austin.
Neither Kathleen Angel, Dell director of global benefits, nor Lynn Tyson, Dell spokeswoman, returned calls seeking comment.
The lawsuits allege plan administrators failed to prudently manage plan assets when they offered Dell stock as an investment option, required participants to invest in the stock and invested and held company contributions in the stock when it was not a suitable and appropriate option. Over the past two years, the price of Dell stock — and the value of Dell stock owned through Dell's 401(k) retirement plans — has fallen dramatically, according to Mr. Mills.
In the past two years, the stock closed at a high of $42.38 on Dec. 13, 2004, and a low of $19.91 on July 21, 2006.