Cases & Deals

FirstMerit Corporation obtains dismissal of ERISA claims in 401(k) stock-drop litigation

Client(s) FirstMerit Corporation

Jones Day defended FirstMerit Corporation in an ERISA stock-drop class action relating to the offering of company stock as an investment option in a predecessor bank's 401(k) plan. On behalf of a putative class of participants, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by offering Citizens Republic Bancorp stock as an investment alternative in the Citizens 401(k) plan during time periods when it was imprudent to do so. The plaintiffs also alleged breach of ERISA's duty of loyalty as well as a failure to monitor.

In light of the Supreme Court's decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), the defendants argued that the plaintiffs' third amended complaint was foreclosed and must be dismissed. The court agreed, and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.

Morrison et al. v. Citizens Republic Bancorp, et al., 2:11-cv-11709-SJM-MJH (E.D. Mich)