A federal court judge in Green Bay, Wis., has issued a split decision in an ERISA lawsuit against ThedaCare Inc., dismissing allegations of excessive investment management fees and managed account services fees, but allowing for trial a complaint about excessive record-keeping and administrative service fees.
U.S. District Court Judge William C. Griesbach issued his ruling Jan. 22 in the case of Glick vs. ThedaCare Inc. et al. regarding allegations by a former participant in a ThedaCare 403(b) plan.
Griesbach accepted the recommendations of a magistrate judge, noting that the plaintiff didn't object to the magistrate's views on the managed account and investment management fee issues.
As to the record-keeping allegation, "the magistrate judge acknowledged that it was a close case" regarding the plaintiff's comparing ThedaCare to other plans, Griesbach wrote.
The difference in fees "is significant enough that it supports an inference, however slight, that the plan participants did not receive services justifying" the fees they paid, he wrote.
"Plaintiff has stated a claim, at least at this stage, for breach of the duty of prudence," he added "And because plaintiff's breach of the duty to monitor claim is derivative of the breach of fiduciary duty claim, plaintiff may also pursue his recordkeeping fees duty-to-monitor claim."
The original lawsuit was filed in August 2020 and amended twice.
The ThedaCare Retirement and 403(b) Savings Plan, Neenah, Wis., had assets of $637 million as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to the latest Form 5500.