CHICAGO (April 24, 2006) — McDermott Will & Emery client State Street Bank & Trust Company (State Street) has been excused as a defendant in a massive class action: In re General Motors ERISA Litigation in the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiff class is General Motors (GM) employees who suffered losses in their retirement savings plan accounts as the value of GM stock declined in recent years. The plaintiffs claim that numerous GM entities and officers—and State Street as trustee and investment manager for GM stock accounts in the plan—breached fiduciary obligations under ERISA by permitting and continuing allegedly imprudent investments in GM stock. While all defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for various reasons, only State Street's motion was granted. McDermott convinced the court that State Street's discretionary responsibilities for GM stock investments were limited to liquidity needs, and State Street did not have ERISA liability for decisions about the investment merits of the GM stock.
McDermott's team included Bill Boies, Alan J. Hawksley, Chris Scheithauer, Anne Becker and Heather Egan Sussman.