Marlon H. Cryer et al. v. Franklin Resources, Inc.

Lead Case No.: 4:16-cv-04265-CW

United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division

Important Dates
September 10, 2019 – Deadline to File or Postmark an Objection
September 24, 2019 – Final Approval Hearing

A proposed Settlement has been reached in Cryer v. Franklin Resources, Inc., Lead Case No. 4:16-cv-04265-CW. This website contains information about Class Members' rights regarding the proposed Settlement.

This consolidated class action litigation is brought on behalf of participants in the Franklin Templeton 401(k) Retirement Plan (the "Plan"). Marlon H. Cryer and Nelly F. Fernandez (collectively referred to as "Plaintiffs" or "Class Representatives") are the named plaintiffs and the representatives on behalf of all members of the Class in the litigation. The Cryer lawsuit was filed in July 2016, and the Fernandez lawsuit was filed in November 2017. The Court later consolidated the cases.

Plaintiffs sued Franklin Resources, Inc. ("Franklin") and others alleged to have served in fiduciary roles to the Plan (together, "Defendants"), alleging primarily that Defendants violated their fiduciary duties by choosing for the Plan allegedly imprudent and expensive affiliated investment funds, and by allegedly failing to negotiate lower record keeping fees with the Plan's third-party recordkeepers. Plaintiffs allege that there were superior, less expensive investment options available that Defendants should have chosen for the Plan. Plaintiffs also allege that between 2010 and 2013, Franklin engaged in transactions prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). After the lawsuits were filed, Plaintiffs agreed voluntarily to dismiss from the litigation a claim for alleged breach of fiduciary duty relating to monitoring of the Plan fiduciaries as well as certain individual defendants, and the Court granted summary judgment to Defendants on Plaintiffs' alleged excessive recordkeeping fee claim.

Defendants deny all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability or damage to the Plaintiffs and the Class and deny that they have engaged in any wrongdoing or violation of law or breach of duty. Defendants maintain that they acted in the best interests of Plan participants at all times and complied with their fiduciary obligations to the Plan and its participants. Among other things, Defendants contend that the Plan fiduciaries employed a robust and thorough process for selecting, monitoring, and removing Plan investment options and for monitoring Plan-related fees.

To avoid the time and expense of further litigation, Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed to resolve the consolidated litigation. The Settlement is the product of extensive negotiations between the parties, who were assisted in their negotiations by a neutral private mediator. The parties have taken into account the uncertainty and risks of litigation and have concluded that it is desirable to settle on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement. If the Settlement is approved by the Court, the Class will obtain the benefits of the Settlement without the further delay and uncertainty of additional litigation.

The Settlement resolves all issues regarding the Plan's investment options and fees from July 28, 2010 through such time as the Court grants final approval of the Settlement.

You can read the full Settlement Agreement, the Court's order granting Preliminary Approval of the Settlement, the Notice, and other relevant pleadings and documents on the Important Documents page of this website. If you have questions, please visit the FAQs page of this website.

Do not contact the Court to get additional information.