Court Grants Final Approval in General Electric ERISA Case

$61 Million Largest Ever Settlement in ERISA Case

BOSTON, March 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Judge Indira Talwani of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted final approval of a $61 million cash settlement in IN RE: GE ERISA LITIGATION. Sanford Heisler Sharp first filed the Class Complaint in 2017. Subsequently, other firms joined and co-litigated the matter on behalf of a nationwide class for almost 8 years through hard fought litigation and settlement.

“This is the largest settlement ever in an ERISA case alleging a retirement plan improperly offered proprietary funds. It is a great result for the class restoring to their accounts much needed money for their retirement savings,” said Charles Field, Partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp and counsel for the class.

The approved Settlement Agreement provides that Defendants will pay $61,000,000 in cash (the “Settlement Amount”) to resolve all of Plaintiffs’ Released Claims against Defendants and the Released Parties.

Plaintiffs alleged the GE Funds were managed by GEAM, GE’s wholly owned investment management company, and were the only actively managed options available to Plan participants. Plaintiffs claimed that the GE Funds substantially underperformed other comparable funds during the Class Period. Plaintiffs further alleged Defendants refused to consider adding better performing comparable funds, removing any of the GE Funds, or replacing the managers, and that they thereby breached their duties of loyalty and prudence to monitor and remove them from the Plan. Around the same time these breaches were taking place, GE was exploring the sale of GEAM, which ultimately resulted in the sale of GEAM to State Street for $485 million in 2016. Plaintiffs alleged Defendants retained the underperforming funds to elevate GEAM’s assets under management and to collect fees, inflate the sale price of GEAM and use the proceeds to pay-down debt GE owed to its underfunded defined benefit pension plan.

“This was a long and hard-fought case and illustrates that Sanford Heisler Sharp will go the distance and is in these cases for the long haul,” Field said.

About Sanford Heisler Sharp

Sanford Heisler Sharp is a public interest and civil rights law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atlanta, Baltimore, Nashville, and San Diego. The firm focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower and qui tam, criminal/sexual violence, financial services, and Asian American litigation and finance matters. Our lawyers have recovered over $1 billion for our clients through many verdicts and settlements.

In 2022, The National Law Journal named Sanford Heisler Sharp Civil Rights Firm of the Year, and it recognized the firm in 2021 as both the Employment Rights Firm of the Year and the Human Rights Firm of the Year. Law360 recognized the firm as Employment Practice Group of the Year in 2021, 2019, 2018, and 2016. Benchmark Litigation recognized the firm as the Labor & Employment Firm of the Year in 2021 and 2020.

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For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or