Record Keeper, Plan Sponsor Sued for Fiduciary Breach in 401(k) Account Hack


A suit has been filed, alleging “actions in allowing an unknown individual to prey on and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars form the retirement savings of the Plaintiff.” The case was filed on behalf of Heide Bartnett, a retired former employee of Abbot Laboratories, who had left her savings in the Abbott Corporate Benefit Stock Retirement Plan. The lawsuit was filed against the fiduciaries of the Abbott Labs retirement plan and against Abbott Labs as the plan sponsor.

The suit alleges the defendants “failed to enforce a security question routine set up for the security purposes on the Defendents’ website and instead simply provided a one-time code over the phone that was used to loot Ms. Barnett’s account.” Subsequently, “rather than informing with Ms. Bartnett via email concerning changes to her account, as Defendants knew Ms. Bartnett preferred, they mailed notices, allowing the theft to be consummated and the $245,000 to be transferred out of the country via email to an Indian IP address before Ms. Bartnett could take any steps to halt the fraud.”

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