2/23/2012 - Settlement of Kraft Foods Global Inc. ERISA Class Actions
On February 23, 2012, Kraft Foods Global Inc. and plaintiffs representatives announced they had reached a tentative settlement of two proposed class actions. Plaintiffs had alleged, among other things, that the fiduciaries responsible for overseeing a 401(k) plan for Kraft employees and retirees had breached their duties under ERISA by, among other things, offering imprudent investment options in the company’s retirement plan. Plaintiffs’ expert claimed that inclusion of two allegedly imprudent investment funds damaged the retirement plan by between $109.4 million and $179.6 million, and that the retirement plan suffered additional losses of $28.5 million from excessive fees. In his rebuttal report, Compass Lexecon’s David Ross opined that Plaintiffs’ expert’s calculations were fundamentally flawed and that the plan’s losses, assuming liability, ranged from $0 to $22 million depending on the alternative investment. The tentative settlement provides for a $9.5 million monetary payment as well as non-monetary relief. Mr. Ross was assisted by Laurel Van Allen and Gina Vinogradsky in Compass Lexecon’s Chicago office. Kraft Foods Global Inc. was represented by Ronald Kramer, Ian Morrison, and Amanda Sonneborn at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.