A federal judge in Hartford, Conn., has given 401(k) plan participants 30 days to amend their lawsuit against Stanley Black & Decker, in which they accuse the company and fiduciaries of violating ERISA by retaining a BlackRock target series.
U.S. District Court Judge Stefan R. Underhill issued the request on Aug. 3 in a one-page order that granted in part and dismissed in part a petition by the company to throw out the case. However, the document provided no details in the case of Kistler et al. vs. Stanley Black & Decker Inc. et al., which seeks class-action status.
Stanley Black & Decker is one of 11 companies sued 12 months ago by different plaintiffs making similar criticisms of the BlackRock LifePath Index Retirement Funds.
The lawsuits were filed Miller Shah LLP either as lead counsel or co-counsel, using similar language and the same statistical comparisons of the BlackRock target-date series vs. several other target-date series. Plaintiffs argue that the target-date series should be replaced.
BlackRock isn't a defendant in any of the cases.
Among lawsuits that have led to rulings, Stanley Black & Decker is the first company for which a judge hasn't dismissed the entire complaint.
Federal judges have dismissed lawsuits against Wintrust Financial, Advance Publications, Microsoft (twice), Capital One Financial (twice) and Booz Allen Hamilton (twice). Plaintiffs in the latter two cases filed notices of appeal, then withdrew them.