Biogen Inc. will settle an ERISA lawsuit filed by participants in a company 401(k), according to a settlement notice filed June 29 in a U.S. District Court in Boston by attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants.
The document — an agreement in principle — for In re Biogen Inc. ERISA Litigation didn't include terms. Details of the class-action settlement will be provided by Aug. 24 to the court, which must approve the agreement.
The settlement document said the agreement was reached after a June 22 mediation session.
The case represents a consolidation of two lawsuits — one filed in July 2020 and the other in September 2020 — accusing the company and plan fiduciaries of several ERISA violations, including charging excessive fees and failing to monitor plan investments.
Defendants sought dismissal of the allegations, but U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper allowed most of the complaints to proceed in July 2021.
Ms. Casper rejected the defendants' response to the plaintiffs' allegations that the plan should have removed or took too long to remove several investment options.
The judge allowed the plaintiffs' allegations to proceed that the plan fiduciaries failed to monitor investment costs by selecting retail-priced shares over institutional-priced shares for certain investments. She also rejected the defendants' request to dismiss a failure-to-monitor allegation.
Biogen 401(k) Savings Plan had $2 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.