Like most such cases, the plaintiff, a putative class representative, alleged that the defendant fiduciaries should not have allowed participants in the 401(k) plan at issue to continue to invest their employer’s matching contributions in company stock. The plaintiff demanded a jury trial in the complaint and the defendants moved to strike that demand.
As the court recognized, there is longstanding precedent that an exception to the Seventh Amendment right to trial-by-jury exists for equitable actions. See Chauffers, Teamsters & Helpers Local No. 391 v. Terry, 494 U.S. 558, 564 (1990). It is that distinction which has traditionally eliminated the right to jury trials under ERISA, as ERISA claims are generally viewed as equitable in nature.
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