Former employees of ICON Clinical Research LLC, North Wales, Pa., sued the company and fiduciaries alleging mismanagement of a company 401(k) plan violated their duties under ERISA.
"The plan had substantial bargaining power regarding the fees and expenses that were charged against participants' investments," said the March 26 complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
"Defendants, however, did not try to reduce the plan's expenses or exercise appropriate judgment to scrutinize each investment option that was offered in the plan to ensure it was prudent," said the complaint in the case of Nesbeth et al. vs. ICON Clinical Research LLC et al.
The plaintiffs, who are seeking class-action status, attacked the fiduciaries' monitoring of record-keeping expenses.
"Given the size of the plan's assets during the class period and total number of participants, in addition to the general trend towards lower record-keeping expenses in the marketplace as a whole, the plan could have obtained record-keeping services that were comparable to or superior to the typical services provided by the plan's record keeper at a lower cost," the lawsuit said.
The class period, when the alleged ERISA violations took place, started March 26, 2015 and extend through the date of judgment, the complaint said.
ICON Clinical Research LLC is a subsidiary of ICON PLC, Dublin, Ireland. A spokesman for the parent company did not respond to a request for comment.
The ICON Clinical Research, LLC 401(k) Plan had assets of $523.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2019, according to the lawsuit.