Sanford Heisler Sharp Secures Class Certification In $85 Million ERISA Class Action Against Global Consulting, Actuarial Firm Milliman, Inc.

ERISA Complaint Alleges Mismanagement of 4,000 Employees’ Retirement Funds

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sanford Heisler Sharp today announced that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has certified the class in Mattson v. Milliman, Inc., a class action lawsuit alleging Milliman breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA and violated the trust of some 4,000 of its current and former employees’ by mismanaging the company’s retirement funds.

The case has been litigated by Sanford Heisler Sharp Partners Charles Field and Kate Mueting; Chairman David Sanford; and Associates Denise Choung, David McNamee and Ari Rubin. Local counsel is Paul Taylor of Byrnes Keller Cromwell LLP. 

“Milliman failed to remove the in-house target risk funds that significantly underperformed meaningful benchmarks for nearly a decade,” said Charles Field, Chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Financial Services Practice Group. “The inclusion of these underperforming target risk funds had negative long-term consequences for a large number of Milliman employees and is indefensible. We are pleased that the court has certified the class thereby paving the way for Plaintiff Mattson to seek and obtain relief on behalf of the thousands of individuals who were harmed by Milliman’s mismanagement.”

Milliman’s decision not to remove the underperforming target risk funds has cost the Fund and Milliman’s current and former employees as much as $85 million in retirement savings. In finding that the Rule 23 class certification requirements were met, Judge Zilly rejected the defendants’ arguments that the class could not be certified because some class members signed arbitration agreements. The court concluded that Munro v. University of Southern California controls and thus employees who signed arbitration agreements did so as employees and not on behalf of the ERISA Plan.

Plaintiffs and the class seek (1) restitution for financial losses to Plan participants and beneficiaries resulting from the Plan’s underperforming investments; (2) divestiture of imprudent investments; and (3) the removal of the fiduciaries who have violated their duties to the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries under ERISA.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a national public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Nashville, and Baltimore. Sanford Heisler Sharp focuses on employment discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, criminal/sexual violence, and financial services matters. The firm has recovered over $1 billion for its clients through many verdicts and settlements.

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