Home Depot ERISA Class Action
Case Type: ERISA
Company Name: Home Depot
Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a summary judgment motion asking the Court to rule that Home Depot breached its fiduciary duty of prudence under ERISA due to its mismanagement of the company’s 401k Plan.
“It is not a common practice for plaintiffs to file a motion for summary judgment,” said Charles Field, Partner and Chair of the of the Firm’s Financial Services Litigation Group. “However, the evidence of mismanagement is so compelling here that it warranted the Firm moving forward with its motion and presenting the evidence to the Court.”
In its motion, Sanford Heisler Sharp claims that the facts show that the Plan’s fiduciaries disregarded, and unquestionably breached, their fiduciary duty by: (1) allowing the Plan’s record keeper, Aon Hewitt, to retain millions of dollars in revenue-sharing fees, (2) allowing participants to pay millions of dollars in fees to Financial Engines Advisors and Alight Financial Advisors without even minimal inquiry into the reasonableness of their respective fees, and (3) failing to adequately monitor the BlackRock LifePath Target Date Funds and replace them despite sustained underperformance that put them at or near the bottom of their peer groups.
Sanford Heisler Sharp filed the case in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia in April 2018, on behalf of more than 200,000 Plan participants alleging that Home Depot breached its duty under ERISA by failing to monitor several of the investment funds in the Plan and failing to undertake a reasonable inquiry to determine whether the fees being charged for investment advisory services were reasonable.
As part of the on-going litigation, the Court denied Home Depot’s motion to dismiss in September 2019 and denied Home Depot’s motions for summary judgment in September 2020. The Court certified the class in September 2020.
The team from Sanford Heisler Sharp representing Plan participants includes Field, Kevin Sharp, Nashville Managing Partner and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Public Interest Group, David Tracey, Partner and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Public Interest Group, Senior Litigation Counsel Leigh Anne St. Charles and associate Sean Ouellette, as well as Andrew Melzer, partner in the Firm’s New York office.
“The evidence in this case establishes that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties to the Home Depot 401k Plan and its participants, plain and simple,” said Tracey. “By paying scant attention to funds that suffered extremely poor performance over multiple time periods, the fiduciaries abdicated their responsibilities to safeguard the Plan’s assets. We are asking the Court to rule as such as a matter of law.”
Sanford Heisler Sharp's lawyers further claim that Home Depot caused the Plan to pay excessive fees to Financial Engines Advisors, a portion of which it then shared with Aon Hewitt. “Based on the evidence we’ve seen, it appears that Plan fiduciaries just couldn’t be bothered with the important fiduciary duties they owed to a multi-billion retirement plan,” said St. Charles.
Attorneys Involved in the Case
- July 13, 2021 – Sanford Heisler Sharp Files Motion For Summary Judgment Against Home Depot For Mismanagement Of Its 401k Plan
- April 12, 2018 – Sanford Heisler Sharp Files $140 Million ERISA Class Case Against Home Depot on Behalf of More Than 200,000 Retirement Plan Beneficiaries
- Massive Home Depot 401(k) Class Action Gets Green Light
- Home Depot ERISA Lawsuit Clears Dismissal Motions
- Workers Blast Home Depot’s Attack On Would-Be 401(k) Class
- Home Depot Can’t Flee 401(k) Suit, But Financial Advisers Can
- Workers Fight Home Depot’s Move To Ax 401(k) Suit
- Home Depot Says 401(k) Plan Members Can’t Prove Fault
- Home Depot, Investment Advisors, Recordkeeper Face Massive 401(K) Fraud Class Action
- Home Depot sued for mismanaging retirement fund accounts
- Home Depot Faces $140M Suit Over 401(k) Mismanagement
- ERISA Fiduciary Breach Litigation Targets Home Depot, Financial Engines
- DC participants sue Home Depot, 2 advice providers over alleged fiduciary breaches
- Home Depot 401(k) Plan Latest Targeted with ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files $140 Million ERISA Class Case Against Home Depot On Behalf Of More Than 200,000 Retirement Plan Beneficiaries
- Home Depot hit with ERISA class action claiming retirement plan mismanagement
- Home Depot Says $140M ERISA Class Action Should Be Axed
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