Deere & Co. Successfully Defends 401(k) Fee Suit

In a victory for employers, the defense in Hecker v. Deere & Co. successfully beat back the first of numerous class action lawsuits alleging 401(k) abuse to reach the federal circuit level.

Hecker plaintiffs, like others in similar suits that plaintiffs' firms brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), attacked plan sponsors for falling short as fiduciaries. Schlichter Bogard & Denton initiated this wave of litigation in 2006, filing suits against several large corporations, including Boeing and Kraft Foods.

Prudent Measures

The primary question in cases such as Hecker is whether the fiduciary acted prudently when it administered the 401(k) plan in the first place, says Joelle Sharman, a partner at Ford & Harrison.

Associate Editor

Lauren Williamson

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