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Court Certifies 9,000-Member Class in ERISA Lawsuit Against IQVIA

On May 12, 2022, a District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina certified a class of over 9,000 members in a lawsuit against IQVIA Inc., the Board of Directors of IQVIA Holdings, Inc., and the Benefits Investment Committee (collectively, “IQVIA,” the “Company,” or “Defendants”).

The Court defined the Class as all participants and beneficiaries in the IQVIA, Inc. 401(k) Plan (the “Plan”) at any time on or after June 23, 2014, to the present (the “Class Period”), including any beneficiary of a deceased person who was a participant in the Plan at any time during the Class Period.

The Plan is a defined contribution 401(k) retirement plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), a federal statute establishing fiduciary standards for plan administrators to ensure that investments offered to employees are prudently selected and monitored.

With assets totaling over $1.6 billion as of December 31, 2018, the Plan is in the top 0.1% of all defined contribution plans by size. Importantly, large plans like the Plan have substantial leverage to negotiate for lower fees and expenses charged against plan participants’ investments.

Class representatives Darya Dearing, Lauren Brown, Janice Gullick, and Nelson Sievers (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed suit against IQVIA on behalf of the Class on June 23, 2020, alleging that the Company violated ERISA by offering expensive and underperforming investments and by allowing the Plan to pay management fees significantly higher than the average charged to similarly sized plans.

IQVIA moved to dismiss the lawsuit on October 23, 2020, arguing that Plaintiffs did not adequately state a breach of the fiduciary duties of loyalty or prudence, did not adequately state a claim for failure to monitor, and did not adequately state a non-fiduciary claim.

On September 21, 2021, the Court denied all three counts of the IQVIA’s Motion to Dismiss, citing ERISA matters Reed v. MedStar Health, Inc. and Jones v. Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc. in the process.

Although IQVIA did not oppose the Plaintiffs’ request for class certification, filed in April 2022, the Company will continue to fight the charges.

The Class is represented by Miller Shah LLP and Capozzi Adler, P.C. 

Updates will be posted to this blog as the matter progresses. The case caption for the lawsuit is Darya Dearing et al v. IQVIA, INC. et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-00574-WO-JEP, filed in the Middle District of North Carolina.

The legal team at Miller Shah LLP has significant experience representing class action matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this post, please contact Jacob Levin (jlevin@millershah.com) or Alec Berin (ajberin@millershah.com). The firm can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

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