-THE FINAL HEARING HAS PASSED AND THE COURT ENTERED THE FINAL APPROVAL ORDER ON AUGUST 10, 2021. PLEASE SEE THE JUDGEMENT FROM THE COURT FOR MORE DETAILS-
What is the lawsuit about?
The lawsuit ("Action") claims that under ERISA, the Defendants owed fiduciary duties of loyalty, care, and prudence to the Brenntag USA Profit Sharing Plan (the "Plan") and that they violated those duties in connection with the selection and monitoring of the Plan’s investment options. During the Class Period, participants in the Plan were able to allocate their account balances among various investment funds. Named Plaintiffs allege that because the Plan had nearly half a billion dollars in assets, it had substantial bargaining power regarding the fees and expenses that were charged against participants’ investments. Named Plaintiffs further allege that Defendants, however, did not try to reduce the Plan’s expenses or exercise appropriate judgment to scrutinize each investment option that was offered in the Plan to ensure it was prudent. Additionally, Plaintiffs allege Defendants failed to prudently monitor the recordkeeping fees charged to Plan participants. Recordkeeping in simple terms refers to the suite of administrative services provided to retirement plan participants that generally includes provision of account statements to participants.
Defendants deny all of the claims and allegations made in the Action and deny that they ever engaged in any wrongful conduct. If the Action were to continue, the Defendants would raise numerous defenses to liability, including:
- Defendants did not engage in any of the allegedly improper conduct charged in the Complaint;
- Defendants reasonably and prudently managed the Plan's investment options and fees and fulfilled all of their fiduciary obligations;
- The Plan's investment options were and are reasonable, prudent, and sound investment options for Plan participants;
- Even if a court were to determine that Defendants failed to discharge any duty under ERISA, any such breach of fiduciary duty did not cause the Plan or its participants to suffer any loss.
A Settlement Fund consisting of $2,300,000 ("Gross Settlement Amount") in cash is being established in the Action. The Gross Settlement Amount will be deposited into an escrow account, and the Gross Settlement Amount, together with any interest earned, will constitute the Settlement Fund. Payment of any taxes, approved attorneys' fees and litigation expenses, and payment of Case Contribution Awards to the Named Plaintiffs, and costs of administering the Settlement will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. After the payment of such fees, expenses, and awards, the amount that remains will constitute the Net Settlement Amount. The Net Settlement Amount will be allocated to Settlement Class Members according to a Plan of Allocation to be approved by the Court.
Who is in the Settlement Class?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you fall within the definition of the Settlement Class preliminarily approved by the Honorable John M Gallagher: "All persons who participated in the Plan at any time during the Class Period, including any Beneficiary of a deceased person who participated in the Plan at any time during the Class Period, and any Alternate Payee of a person subject to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order who participated in the Plan at any time during the Class Period. Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants and their beneficiaries."
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, the amount of money you will receive, if any, will depend on the Plan of Allocation.
|YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS UNDER THE SETTLEMENT
|YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO FILE A CLAIM IF YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A PAYMENT UNDER THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.
||If the Settlement is approved by the Court and you are a member of the Settlement Class, you will not need to file a claim in order to receive a Settlement payment if you are entitled to receive a payment under the Settlement Agreement.
|HOW SETTLEMENT PAYMENTS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED.
||If you are currently participating or have an account balance in the Plan and are a Settlement Class member, any share of the Net Settlement Amount to which you are entitled will be deposited into your Plan account. If you are a Former Participant (i.e., no longer a participant in the Plan) and are a Settlement Class member, such funds shall be paid directly to you by the Settlement Administrator.
YOU MAY HAVE OBJECTED TO THE SETTLEMENT BY JULY 9, 2021.
|If you wished to object to any part of the Settlement, you must have already written to the Court and the attorneys for the Parties about why you objected to the Settlement. The deadline to object to the Settlement has now passed. Check FAQ 13 for more details.
YOU MAY ATTEND THE FAIRNESS HEARING TO BE HELD ON AUGUST 9, 2021 @ 1:30 p.m. (EST).
|If you submit a written objection to the Settlement to the Court and counsel before the Court-approved deadline, you may (but do not have to) attend the Fairness Hearing about the Settlement and present your objections to the Court. You may attend the Fairness Hearing even if you do not file a written objection, but you will only be allowed to speak at the Fairness Hearing if you file a written objection in advance of the Fairness Hearing AND you file a Notice of Intention To Appear, as described in the answer to FAQ 16 in this Notice.