Three weeks after a federal judge dismissed an ERISA lawsuit against Old Dominion Freight Line, the company has been sued again by plaintiffs making similar allegations — excessive record-keeping fees and investment fees — to the previous case.
"Old Dominion selected more expensive share classes than identical less expensive share classes of the same investments," said the lawsuit filed Sept. 27 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
"Except for the extra fees, the share classes are/were identical," said the lawsuit in the case of Sealy et al. vs. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.
Three plan participants filed the complaint seeking class-action status. One of the participants, Harvey L. Wheeler, was the sole plaintiff in the lawsuit dismissed Sept. 6 by a federal judge in Winston-Salem, N.C.
"The complaint contains no factual support for the conclusory allegations that he personally invested in any of the imprudent investment options, nor that he suffered any other type of specific financial loss," U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder wrote.
The three law firms representing the three plaintiffs are the same as three of the four law firms who represented Wheeler in his lawsuit.
For certain investments, "Old Dominion failed to prudently monitor the plan to determine whether the plan was invested in the lowest-cost share class available for the Plan's mutual funds, which are identical to the mutual funds in the plan in every way except for their lower cost," the latest lawsuit said.
The plaintiffs alleged record-keeping payments to Empower Retirement are "grossly excessive," adding that Old Dominion "should have done more to investigate, monitor, request, negotiate and secure reasonable fees for the plan." Empower is not a defendant.
A representative of Old Dominion did not respond to a request for comment.
Old Dominion 401(k) Retirement Plan, Thomasville, N.C., had $1.79 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to the latest Form 5500.