A federal court judge has
preliminarily approved a settlement in a class action against J.C.
Penney Corp. over its handling of the company stock fund in its
Under the terms of the settlement, J.C. Penney
will pay $4.5 million to resolve allegations that it breached its
fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) by failing to prudently and loyally manage the plan's assets and
to adequately monitor the independent fiduciary and provide the
independent fiduciary with accurate information. The lawsuit alleged
that plan fiduciaries allegedly knew or should have known that the J. C.
Penney Common Stock Fund was an imprudent investment under ERISA.
According to the settlement agreement,
defendants deny any and all liability to plaintiffs and the plan, and
deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing made in the action.
Defendants deny that some or all of them were fiduciaries under ERISA,
or were acting as ERISA fiduciaries at the time of the events complained
of, or to the extent that any of them were acting as fiduciaries, that
any breach of fiduciary duty occurred in connection with the investment,
acquisition, or retention of the J. C. Penney Common Stock Fund in the
plan. Defendants further contend that they acted prudently and loyally
at all times and in all respects with regard to the plan.
Settlement Class includes all individuals, excluding defendants, who
participated in the plan, and whose individual accounts held units of
the J. C. Penney Common Stock Fund between November 1, 2011, and May 31,