Eversource Energy Service Co. will pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit filed by four current and former participants in a company 401(k) plan who alleged ERISA violations based on high fees and poor performance of investments.
Settlement details were filed April 14 in a U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn. A preliminary settlement was announced Jan. 31, but no terms were revealed at that time in Garthwait et al. vs. Eversource Energy Service Co. et al.
The plaintiffs sued the company and plan fiduciaries in June 2020, criticizing allegedly high fees, poor-performing investments, and failure to disclose costs and risks of investments.
"Defendants dispute plaintiffs' claims and deny that they breached any fiduciary duties," said the settlement document filed by plaintiffs' attorneys. The settlement requires court approval.
"Resolving the case at this juncture allows the parties to avoid continued and costly litigation that would deplete resources which could otherwise be used for the resolution of this action, and which might result in a recovery of less than that provided by the settlement, or no recovery," the document said.
Eversource 401(k) Plan, Hartford, Conn., had $4.4 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.