Plaintiffs in separate ERISA lawsuits against Capital One Financial Corp. and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. for offering a BlackRock target-date series in their 401(k) plans have dropped their appeals of pro-sponsor lower court decisions.
The plaintiffs in both cases filed voluntary dismissal notices May 12 with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Both sets of plaintiffs sued Aug. 1, accusing the respective companies and plan fiduciaries of violating ERISA by retaining the BlackRock LifePath Index Retirement Funds.
Both complaints were dismissed Dec. 1 by U.S. District Court Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff, Alexandria Va., who allowed both to file an amended complaint. They did, but the judge dismissed both lawsuits March 1.
Plaintiffs in both cases filed a notice of appeal March 31, but they never filed appeal briefs, according to the May 12 voluntary dismissal notice.
Tullgren vs. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. et al. and Hall et al. vs. Capital One Financial Corp. et al. are two of 11 ERISA lawsuits filed by the Miller Shah law firm either as lead counsel or co-counsel. Plaintiffs have accused the various 401(k) plans and their fiduciaries of violating ERISA's standards for prudence — raising questions about the target-date series' performance — and loyalty — raising questions about the sponsors placing their own interests above those of participants.
Another defendant, Microsoft Corp., has won dismissals twice against participants criticizing its offering of the BlackRock target-date series.
BlackRock isn't a defendant in any of the 11 lawsuits.
In withdrawing their appeals in the Capital One and Booz Allen Hamilton cases, plaintiffs told the court that each party will bear its own legal fees and that defendants' lawyers don't oppose the motion for voluntary dismissal.
Capital One Financial Corp. Associate Savings Plan, McLean, Va., had $7.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. Employees Capital Accumulation Plan, McLean, Va., had $7.85 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to the latest Form 5500.