ING Wins Dismissal of ERISA Class Action

March 31, 2010

Cleary Gottlieb won the dismissal of an ERISA class action complaint filed in Georgia federal court against certain subsidiaries, officers, directors and employees of ING Groep and its affiliates. Plaintiffs had accused defendants of breaching fiduciary duties owed under ERISA to participants in two pension plans by, among other things, imprudently maintaining ING stock as an investment option under the plans, misrepresenting ING’s financial condition, and acting with conflicts of interest. On March 31, the Court dismissed the five-count complaint in its entirety. The Court agreed with defendants that plaintiffs lacked standing to assert claims relating to one of the two pension plans at issue, that plaintiffs had otherwise failed to adequately plead that certain of the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries, and that, in any event, plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that any of the defendants had failed to prudently and loyally manage the pension plans or their assets. The Court also denied plaintiffs’ motion to strike certain exhibits to defendants’ motion to dismiss.