A federal District Court judge in Boston has set a Sept. 16 trial date for an ERISA fiduciary breach lawsuit filed by participants in a 401(k) plan run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton announced his decision in an opinion Wednesday after denying MIT's request for summary judgment on all of the participants' multicount complaints. Mr. Gorton did support the defendant's request to dispatch some of the arguments, but he sided with the plaintiffs on several others.
The participants filed a lawsuit in 2016 claiming that plan executives failed to monitor the plan's investments, allowed excessive fees for record keeping and administrative expenses, and favored Fidelity Investments, the plan's record keeper, in the offering of certain investment options.
"The viable claims for trial are breach of the duty for failure to monitor (investments); breach of the duty of prudence of excessive record keeping and administrative fees; and the corresponding derivative claims that MIT failed to monitor its appointed fiduciaries," Mr. Gorton wrote.
He supported MIT's request for summary judgment relating to the participants' claim that plan managers favored Fidelity in offering certain non-mutual fund options. "Plaintiffs have failed to proffer any concrete evidence of self-dealing or disloyal conduct," Mr. Gorton wrote.
The class-action complaint is Tracey et al. vs. Massachusetts Institute of Technology et al.
The MIT Supplemental 401 (k) Plan had $4.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2018, according to the latest Form 5500 filing.