A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against sponsors of the $7.6 billion U.S. Roche 401(k) Savings Plan, stating that the complaint's "apples-to-oranges comparisons regarding the plan's fees and funds" fails to sufficiently argue that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties in violation of ERISA.
San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick on Tuesday tossed out the lawsuit, filed by plan participant Matthew Wehner against Genentech Inc. and the U.S. Roche DC Fiduciary Committee.
In his original complaint, Mr. Wehner, a former employee of Roche subsidiary Genentech and a current plan participant, alleged that the defendants imposed excessive record-keeping, administrative and investment management fees, and retained underperforming investment options with high fees.
But Mr. Orrick wrote that the "facts as alleged do not raise a plausible inference that defendants breached their fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty."
"Imprudence cannot be reasonably inferred from Wehner's apples-to-oranges comparisons regarding the Plan's fees and funds," Mr. Orrick added.
Mr. Orrick's motion to dismiss also notes that the complaint "fails to plead a duty of prudence or loyalty claim."
The plaintiff has been given 20 days from Mr. Orrick's motion to amend the complaint.