Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP | 20th Anniversary 2004 - 2024
Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP | 20th Anniversary 2004 - 2024

Transamerica ERISA Class Action

Case name: Jeremy Karg, Matthew R. Lamarche, and Shirley Rhodes, et al. v. Transamerica Corporation, et al. 

Case type: Financial Services Litigation

Filed in: [U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa]

Docket: [Case no.: 2:18-cv-01042] 

Case Summary

On December 28, 2018, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action lawsuit against the Transamerica Corporation for violations of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

The Complaint was filed individually on behalf of Jeremy Karg, Matthew R. Lamarche, and Shirley Rhodes, and as class representatives of approximately 17,000 participants in Transamerica’s $1.7 billion 401(k) plan (“Plan”).  

The Complaint alleged that Transamerica invested employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperformed their investment benchmarks and other, similar collective investment funds. According to the Complaint, “The Plan’s participants trusted Transamerica to construct a 401(k) plan that offered superior investment options and world-class investment management. Yet Transamerica saddled the Plan’s participants with substandard investment portfolios that were managed by a Transamerica affiliate, Transamerica Asset Management (TAM).” 

Year after year, the Complaint alleged, Transamerica retained these poor-performing proprietary investment portfolios when superior options were readily available. And by encouraging Plan participants to sign up for Transamerica’s Portfolio Xpress, a tool automatically allocating their money into the company’s proprietary investment products, Transamerica exacerbated employee losses, according to the Complaint. 

In violating its basic duties under ERISA and abusing its employees’ trust, Transamerica cost employees millions of dollars in retirement savings, the Complaint alleged. 

On March 25, 2020, a United States District Court Judge in Iowa granted class certification to the plaintiffs.  

In 2021, the case was settled for $5.4 million.

Attorneys Involved in the Case

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