The Department of Labor is backing 401(k) participants in an appeal of the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit filed against Deere & Co. and Fidelity Investments, said Jerome Schlichter, founding partner of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, a St. Louis law firm representing Deere participants. Calls to the DOL were not returned.
The DOL said the suit should not have been dismissed, Mr. Schlichter said. A U.S. District Court judge in Madison, Wis., dismissed the suit in June against Moline, Ill.-based Deere, and Fidelity. Fidelity is trustee and record keeper for Deeres $2.5 billion 401(k) plan.
Deere employees alleged the plan and Fidelity charged unreasonable fees to participants, but Judge John C. Shabaz ruled that Deere and Fidelity met their fiduciary obligations under ERISA. The appeal is pending.
An item about Deere first appeared in the March 24 issue of Financial Week.