By Anne Tergesen
Edison International was ordered to pay $13.1 million in damages in a case over 401(k) fees that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, according to a Sept. 5 court filing.
Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that Edison had breached its fiduciary duty by investing in retail rather than cheaper institutional share classes of 17 mutual funds in its 401(k) plan.
Filed in 2007, Tibble v. Edison International was the first and so far only 401(k) fee case to go to the Supreme Court, which ruled retirement plans have an ongoing duty to monitor plan investments, including fees. After that ruling, the case returned to the lower courts, culminating in the recent ruling, under which the court approved the formula for setting damages.
Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from Schlichter, Bogard & Denton LLP of St. Louis, a pioneer in the area of 401(k) fee litigation. That firm has also represented plaintiffs in other 401(k) fee cases, some of which resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements by companies including Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Edison said it is "reviewing the judgment," adding that "the funds in question have not been part of the offerings for employees since 2011 and the litigation has not raised any questions regarding the appropriateness of the current portfolio of funds."
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