The plaintiffs and putative class representatives brought suit against the Bank of America Corporation, BOA’s Corporate Benefits Committee, and members of the Committee, alleging that the defendants engaged in prohibited transactions and breached their fiduciary duties by investing the assets of BOA’s defined benefit pension plan and its defined contribution 401(k) plan in BOA-affiliated mutual funds which, the plaintiffs alleged, offered poor performance and charged high fees. 

The United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina held that the pension plan participants had failed to prove an injury-in-fact sufficient to grant them standing to bring suit under Article III of the Constitution. The Fourth Circuit agreed, even though it was undisputed that the plaintiffs had statutory standing to assert claims under ERISA, which authorizes claims by participants on behalf of a plan to remedy a breach of fiduciary duty.

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