Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the case. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact us directly.
In this Class Action, the Plaintiffs named in the Second Consolidated Complaint have been appointed by the Court as “Class Representatives,” who are to act on behalf the Class Members. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants are plan fiduciaries and failed to fulfill their fiduciary duties by offering as Plan investments the poorly performing GE Funds, and did so not in the best interests of the Class members, but to benefit GE. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that GE failed to monitor the Plan’s investment options and remove poorly performing options that were managed and sponsored by GE’s wholly- owned subsidiary, GE Asset Management. In that regard, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, as fiduciaries of the Plan, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence in violation of sections 404(a)(1)(A) and (B) of ERISA, and engaged in prohibited transactions in violation of section 406 of ERISA.
Defendants deny all claims and assert that they have always acted in the best interests of participants and beneficiaries when discharging their obligations with respect to the Plan, including as to the GE Funds. Defendants contend that they provided you and other Plan participants with high quality investment options from which you could select for your retirement savings, and that they appropriately monitored those investments. Defendants maintain that they neither engaged in prohibited transactions, nor breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA.
The Class is defined as:
All participants in the GE Retirement Savings Plan (f/k/a the General Electric Savings and Security Program), from September 26, 2011 to the date of Judgment (the “Class Period”), who were invested in one or more of the “GE Funds”— i.e., the GE Institutional Strategic Investment Fund; the GE Institutional Small Cap Equity Fund; the GE Institutional International Equity Fund; the GE RSP U.S. Equity Fund; and the GE RSP Income Fund.
Excluded from the Class are (a) any individuals named as defendants in the Second Consolidated Amended Complaint, as modified by the October 4, 2018 Notice of Dismissal Without Prejudice of Certain Individual Defendants, the December 13, 2019 Stipulation of Dismissal With Prejudice Of Certain Individual Defendants, and the April 28, 2020 Stipulation of Dismissal Without Prejudice of Jamie Miller, (b) any fiduciaries of the Plan, (c) the officers and directors of GE and GEAM during the Class Period, and members of their immediate families, as well as the heirs, successors, assigns, or legal representatives of any such excluded party.
The Class Representatives are seeking to recover all losses resulting from the Defendants’ alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and other ERISA violations and recover on behalf of the Plan and Class Members any potential losses they sustained as well any profits made by the Defendants, or by the persons and/or entities who knowingly participated in the Defendants’ allegedly wrongful actions. In addition, Plaintiffs seek such other equitable or remedial relief as the Court may deem appropriate as well as their reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses. An award of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses may reduce the net recovery of the Class.
Plaintiffs and Defendants are currently involved in fact discovery (exchanging relevant information about the case), which is to be completed on or before December 18, 2020. Expert discovery shall commence on January 15, 2021 and continue until August 2, 2021. The dates are subject to change. The Court has not yet set a trial date.
Yes. The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel.
You will not be charged for these lawyers; these lawyers will be compensated exclusively from the settlement proceeds by order of the Court. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel has pursued this action on a fully contingent basis and has agreed to advance all costs and expenses on behalf of Plaintiffs and the Class. If a recovery is obtained for the Class, Class Counsel will request from the Court an award for attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses. Class Counsel may also ask the Court to approve reasonable incentive awards for the Class Representatives. If approved, these fees and expenses and incentive awards will either be paid from the recovery obtained for the Class or separately by the Defendants. An award of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, or incentive awards for the Class Representatives, may reduce the net recovery of the Class. You do not have to pay any out-of-pocket fees, costs or expenses to Class Counsel.
No. In some class actions, class members have the opportunity to exclude themselves from the action. However, this Class has been certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(l), which does not allow you to exclude yourself as a member of the Class. If the Class Representatives obtain money or benefits, either as a result of a trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how that would be distributed, including whether you would need to apply for a share. Regardless of whether the Plaintiffs win or lose the trial, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue the Defendants — as part of any other lawsuit— about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit, or any claims that could have been brought. You will also be legally bound by all rulings of the Court, any judgments the Court makes, and any court-approved settlement of any of the claims in this Class Action. Although you may not opt out of the Class, you have the right to file objections with the Court to the terms of any resolution of this matter including a proposed settlement if that occurs in the future.
If you have further questions, please contact the Notice Administrator by calling them toll-free at 855-932-3091, emailing them at GE401kLitigation@noticeadministrator.com, or writing to them at GE 401(k) Litigation Notice Administrator, c/o Analytics Consulting LLC, P.O. Box 2004, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2004.