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McDonald v. Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division

January 26, 2017, Decided; January 26, 2017, Filed

Case No. 4:16 CV 1346 RWS

Opinion

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Charlene McDonald is a plan participant in Defendant Edward D. Jones & Co. L.P.'s (Edward Jones) profit sharing and 401(k) plan (the Plan). Her [*2]  complaint asserts that Defendants breached their fiduciary duty and engaged in prohibited transactions related to the Plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq. (ERISA). McDonald filed this action on her own behalf, on behalf of a class of other persons similarly situated, and on behalf of the Plan. Defendants have moved to dismiss McDonald's claims on a variety of grounds. I will deny Defendants' motion in part because McDonald's complaint states viable claims. However, I will grant Defendant The Jones Financial Companies, L.L.L.P.'s motion to dismiss because the complaint fails to allege any facts which would establish that entity is a plan fiduciary.

Legal Standard

When ruling on a motion to dismiss, I must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and view them in light most favorable to the Plaintiff. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (2007). The purpose of a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is to test the legal sufficiency of the complaint. An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's factual allegations "must be enough [*3]  to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Id. at 555.

Discussion

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10820 *

CHARLENE F. MCDONALD, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P., et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Motion denied by Schultz v. Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49948 (E.D. Mo., Mar. 27, 2018)

Motion granted by, Objection overruled by, Costs and fees proceeding at Schultz v. Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226316 (E.D. Mo., Apr. 22, 2019)

Motion granted by Schultz v. Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99750 (E.D. Mo., June 14, 2019)

CORE TERMS

fiduciary, motion to dismiss, funds, plan participant, alleges, options, factual allegations, breached