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Cassell v. Vanderbilt Univ.

United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division

October 23, 2018, Filed

NO. 3:16-cv-2086

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification (Doc. No. 93). Defendants have filed a response in opposition (Doc. No. 106), and Plaintiffs have filed a reply (Doc. No. 114).

BACKGROUND

The Court has summarized the facts of this action in its prior Memorandum Opinion (Doc. No. 65) concerning Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. The case arises under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") and alleges breach of fiduciary duties by Defendants in relation to the Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan and the Vanderbilt University New Faculty Plan (together, the "Plan"). Plaintiffs brought the action, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(2), on behalf of the Plan. The remaining claims are breach of fiduciary duties as they relate to maintaining imprudent investments; breach of fiduciary duties concerning unreasonable administrative fees; breach of fiduciary duties related to unreasonable investment [*3]  management and other fees; and engaging in "prohibited transactions" related to the Plan's initial agreements with VALIC, Fidelity and Vanguard, if those agreements were made within the six-year statute of limitations (Doc. No. 65 at 20). The Second Amended Complaint adds two new Counts, for breach of fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions by failing to protect vital and confidential participant information from being used by one of the Plan's record-keepers, TIAA, to aggressively market a variety of TIAA's financial products to Plan participants (Doc. No. 102).

Plaintiff seeks to certify a class of all participants and beneficiaries of the Plan, excluding Defendants, from August 10, 2010, through the date of any judgment in this case. Plaintiffs also move to be appointed class representatives and for their lawyers to be appointed as class counsel.

ERISA

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181850 *; 2018 WL 5264640

LOREN L. CASSELL, et al., Plaintiffs v. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants

Prior History: Cassell v. Vanderbilt Univ., 285 F. Supp. 3d 1056, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2364 (M.D. Tenn., Jan. 5, 2018)

CORE TERMS

class certification, record-keepers, imprudent, fiduciary, invested, funds, prohibited transaction, class representative, fiduciary duty, class member, breach of fiduciary duty, statute of limitations, initial agreement, named plaintiff, appointed, six-year, certify, parties, losses