A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., has rejected a petition by Ventura Foods LLC to dismiss an ERISA complaint against the company and its 401(k) plan fiduciaries for allegedly charging excessive investment management fees and unreasonable record-keeping fees as well as offering poor-performing investment options.
U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb didn't provide an explanation for his decision Monday in Gramstad vs. Ventura Foods LLC et al. A company employee filed the original lawsuit in December 2022, which was later amended.
The complaint, which is seeking class-action status, accused the plan of keeping poor-performing investments and offering higher-cost mutual fund shares when identical lower-cost shares were available. The lawsuit also accused the defendants of charging high record-keeping fees through the use of revenue sharing.
Ventura Foods LLC Profit Sharing 401(k) Plan, Brea, Calif., had $323 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the lawsuit.