A federal judge in Greensboro, N.C., has ruled that a lawsuit against IQVIA Inc., a health-care data and clinical research company, can go to trial over former employees' allegations that the company's 401(k) investment lineup violated ERISA.
On Aug. 10, U.S. District Court Judge William L. Osteen Jr. ruled in favor of plaintiffs' claims about the plan's offering of a Fidelity Investments target-date series and the Columbia Acorn USA Fund. He ruled against the plaintiffs in their complaint about the Prudential Jennison Mid-Cap Growth Fund.
None of the asset managers is a defendant in the case of Dearing et al. vs. IQVIA Inc. et al., in which plaintiffs are seeking class-action status.
IQVIA is the name of the merged companies IMS Health Holdings and Quintiles Transnational Holdings whose merger took place in 2016.
The former employees filed suit in June 2020 claiming the defendants failed to adequately review the plan's investment lineup and that they retained certain investments that were more expensive and/or worse-performing than similar investments available in the marketplace.
The defendants asked the judge to grant summary judgment in their favor, but he only agreed for the Prudential Jennison Mid-Cap Growth Fund. He also rejected defendants' request to exclude reports and testimony from two expert witnesses for the plaintiffs.
A motion for summary judgment is usually filed after the parties have completed discovery, giving a judge the opportunity to review details of a case. A motion to dismiss, usually requested soon after a complaint is filed, argues that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim.
The IQVIA 401(k) Plan, Durham, N.C., had $2.8 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.