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Cases & Deals

March 31, 2017

Peabody Energy Corporation Wins Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Suit

King & Spalding won dismissal of an ERISA “stock drop” class action against Peabody Energy Corporation, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  The case alleged that Peabody had violated ERISA by offering its publicly traded stock in its 401(k) plan despite public and non-public information about the company’s projected future performance that made its stock an imprudent retirement investment option.  King & Spalding moved to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiffs’ complaint did not state a claim under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer.  The District Court agreed and dismissed all claims against Peabody.  Plaintiffs later dropped their appeal to the Eighth Circuit, resulting in a total victory for Peabody.