$30 Million Verizon 401(k) Settlement Preliminarily Approved

On July 26, 2023, the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe granted preliminary approval of a settlement between Plaintiffs and Defendants in the case of Jacobs v Verizon Communications Inc. et al (Case Number: 1:16-cv-01082).  

The settlement includes a gross settlement amount of thirty million dollars ($30,000,000). 

Settlement Agreement Terms 

On February 11, 2016, Plaintiff represented by Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky, who was a participant in the Verizon Management Savings Plan (the “Plan”), filed a complaint in the United States Southern District of New York. 

On September 28, 2017, the Court removed two claims but sustained claims for relief against the Verizon Defendants under ERISA §§ 502(a)(2) and 502(a)(3), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132(a)(2), 1132(a)(3) for violation of ERISA’s duty of prudence in ERISA § 404(a), 29 U.S.C. § 1104(a), seeking relief including damages and equitable remedies for the Plan under ERISA § 409(a), 29 U.S.C. § 1109(a) 

On October 13, 2017, the Verizon Defendants answered the complaint and the parties commenced discovery. Defendants produced more than 45,000 pages of documents and 18 depositions were taken including five experts. 

On September 19, 2019, Plaintiff moved for class certification. On June 1, 2020, Magistrate Judge Lehrburger issued a recommendation certifying a class of: 

All participants or beneficiaries of the Verizon Savings Plan for Management Employees (the “Plan”) for the period of April 1, 2010 to August 1, 2016 excluding the Defendants, other VIMCO or Verizon employees with responsibility for the Plan’s investment or administrative functions, and members of the Verizon Board of Directors who had any portion of their Plan invested directly in the Global Opportunity Fund or indirectly in the Global Opportunity Fund through investment in any of the Verizon Target Date Funds.   

On September 29, 2020, the Court adopted the recommendation in its entirety. 

On July 7, 2023, a settlement was agreed upon by the parties. Plaintiff submitted a motion for an order of preliminary approval of the settlement agreement. Regarding the settlement: 

The Class Representative and Class Counsel consider it desirable and in the best interests of the Class that the claims against Defendants be settled on behalf of the Class Representative, the Class and the Plan, upon the terms set forth below, and they have concluded that such terms are fair, reasonable, and adequate and that this Settlement will result in significant benefits to the Class and the Plan. 

On July 26, 2023, the Honorable Paul G Gardephe granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, with a gross settlement amount of thirty million dollars ($30,000,000). 

A fairness hearing is scheduled for November 16, 2023 at 2pm in U.S. District Court, Court 705, 40 Foley Square, New York NY. 

Settlement Claims 

The settlement participants will release claims arising from conduct or events occurring from August 1, 2010 to entry of the Preliminary Order: 

That were asserted in the Action, or that arise out of, relate to, or are based on any of the allegations, acts, omissions, facts, matters, transactions, or occurrences that were alleged, asserted, or set forth in the Complaint, whether or not pleaded in the Complaint; or   

That arise out of, relate to, are based on, or have any connection with (1) the selection, oversight, retention, or performance of the Plan’s investment options, including the Verizon Target Date Funds and the Global Opportunity Fund; or (2) disclosures or failures to disclose information relating to the Plan’s investment options, fees, costs, expenses, services, or service providers; 

A settlement website, managed by the settlement administrator, will be managed and contain copies of 

  1. The Complaint 
  2. The Settlement Agreement 
  3. Settlement Agreement Exhibits 
  4. The Settlement Notice 
  5. Class Counsel Motions for Fees and Expenses and Plaintiff Compensation 
  6. Court Orders related to the Settlement 
  7. Amended or revised versions of documents listed above 
  8. Additional documents upon mutual agreement of parties 

ERISA and 401(L) Law Firm 

If you have questions about this settlement, please contact either the settlement administrator listed on any documents or outreach you have received, or you can contact us to assist. Please call 1-415-421-7100 or email us at 

If you have another ERISA or 401(k) matter, or an ERISA or 401(k) dispute, and you wish to speak to our experienced employee benefits attorneys, please contact us at 1-800-689-0024. Schneider Wallace can provide a free and private legal consultation.