Welcome to the WaMu Savings Plan ERISA Settlement website. This website
is designed to keep class members informed regarding the ERISA Class Action
Settlement that has been preliminarily approved in In Re Washington Mutual,
Inc. Securities, Derivative and ERISA Litigation. While the District Court
has approved the
Proposed Settlement and ordered that certain documents filed with the
Court be posted on this website, the content of this website is the
responsibility of Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel, and has not been approved by the
Chase distributed the proceeds to eligible Settlement Class Members the
week of June 20, 2011.
Beginning on November 20, 2007, several putative class actions were filed on
behalf of participants in or beneficiaries of the WaMu Savings Plan (“Plan”)
whose accounts included investments in Washington Mutual common stock. These
actions alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in violation of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”).
On May 7, 2008, the Honorable Marsha J. Pechman consolidated the various
pending ERISA cases. Then, on May 20, 2008, Judge Pechman appointed Keller
Rohrback L.L.P. and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (“Plaintiffs’ Class
Counsel”) as Interim Co-Lead Counsel in the ERISA Action to manage the
prosecution of the case on behalf of the putative class.
On August 5, 2008, Plaintiffs Gregory Bushansky, Dana Marra, and Marina Ware
(collectively, “Named Plaintiffs”) filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint on
behalf of all persons, other than Defendants, who were participants in or
beneficiaries of the Plan, and whose accounts included investments in Washington
Mutual common stock during the proposed Class Period.
On February 18, 2009, Named Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Second Amended
Complaint (the “Complaint”), seeking relief on behalf of a proposed class of
persons who were participants or beneficiaries of the Plan who invested in
Washington Mutual common stock through their Plan account during the proposed
Class Period. The Complaint alleges that the Plan’s fiduciaries violated their
fiduciary duties under ERISA by: (1) failing to prudently and loyally manage the
Plan’s assets; (2) failing to monitor fiduciaries; (3) failing to disclose
necessary information to co-fiduciaries; (4) failing to provide complete and
accurate information to the Class; (5) co-fiduciary liability; and (6) knowingly
participating in a fiduciary breach.
Named Plaintiffs allege that Defendants knew or should have known that the
Plan’s investment in Washington Mutual common stock was not a prudent retirement
investment and that Defendants acted imprudently by not preventing further
investment in Washington Mutual common stock and not liquidating those holdings.
On April 27, 2009, Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. Named
Plaintiffs’ filed their opposition to Defendants’ motion to dismiss on June 12,
2009 and Defendants’ filed their reply on July 6, 2009.
On October 5, 2009, the Honorable Marsha J. Pechman issued an order in which
she granted in part and denied in part the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. The
order allowed Plaintiffs to proceed with the lawsuit against the Plan Investment
Committee (“PIC”) Defendants, the Plan Administration Committee (“PAC”)
Defendants, and the Human Resources Committee (“HR”) Defendants named in the
Consolidated Second Amended Complaint.
The Settlement Class
On August 6, 2010, Judge Pechman preliminarily approved the ERISA Settlement
on behalf of everyone who, subject to certain exceptions identified below, fits
the following description:
All persons who were participants in or beneficiaries of the Plan at any time
between October 19, 2005 and September 26, 2008, both dates inclusive, and whose
individual Plan accounts included investment in Washington Mutual common stock;
provided, however, that Defendants and their heirs, Successors-in-Interest, or
assigns, to the extent they acquire an interest held by Defendants, are excluded
from the Settlement Class.
The Court has not decided in favor of Named Plaintiffs or Defendants.
Instead, Named Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed to a settlement to resolve
the ERISA Action. In reaching the Settlement, they have avoided the cost and
time of a trial. As with any litigation, Named Plaintiffs would face an
uncertain outcome if this case proceeded, including the risk of dismissal upon
future motions as well as the risk of not prevailing at trial.
Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement a Settlement Fund has been established
consisting of a deposit of $49,000,000.00 in cash paid by insurers of certain
Defendants, plus interest earned thereon.
The Net Settlement Amount will consist of the Settlement Fund less certain
amounts described in the Settlement Agreement, including Court-approved
attorneys’ fees and expenses and Named Plaintiffs’ service awards, and will be
allocated among the Settlement Class in accordance with the Plan of Allocation
to be approved by the Court.
The District Court
held the Fairness Hearing on January 7, 2011 and evaluated the fairness and
adequacy of the Settlement and considered Named Plaintiffs’ requests for final
approval of the Settlement, for class certification, for approval of a proposed
plan of allocation, for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses, and for
service awards to Named Plaintiffs.
Chase distributed the proceeds to eligible Settlement
Class Members the week of June 20, 2011.
Q: How do I know whether I am part of the Settlement Class?
The District Court has preliminarily certified this ERISA Action as a class
action. The Settlement Class consists of all persons who were participants in or
beneficiaries of the Plan at any time between October 19, 2005 and September 26,
2008, both dates inclusive, and whose individual Plan accounts included
investment in Washington Mutual common stock; provided, however, that Defendants
and their heirs, Successors-in-Interest, or assigns, to the extent such persons
acquire an interest held by Defendants, are excluded from the Settlement Class.
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your share of the Net Settlement
Amount, if any, was determined by Chase pursuant to the Plan of Allocation to be approved by
the District Court, and as described in Section 8 of the
Q: What is the Bankruptcy Court’s involvement?
On September 26, 2008, Washington Mutual, Inc. (“WMI”) and WMI Investment
Corp. filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware (the “Bankruptcy Court”), and their cases are being jointly
administered in the Bankruptcy Court as In re Washington Mutual, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 08-12229 (MFW) (the “Chapter 11 Cases”). As a result of the Chapter 11
Cases, all claims against WMI in the ERISA Litigation were put on hold.
Following the filing of the Chapter 11 Cases, Named Plaintiffs filed a claim
against WMI in its Chapter 11 Case with respect to the claims asserted in the
ERISA Litigation. Because WMI is in bankruptcy, and because the settlement
includes the release of plaintiffs’ claim in the bankruptcy case and involves
the depletion of Washington Mutual insurance policies, the settlement needs to
be approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
Q: How much will I get?
On June 18, 2010, Class Counsel submitted a
Plan of Allocation
to the District Court for approval at or after the Fairness Hearing. The Plan of
Allocation describes how the Net Settlement Amount will be distributed to
Settlement Class members. In general terms, the Plan of Allocation will provide
that each Settlement Class member’s share of the Net Settlement Amount was calculated
by Chase as follows:
The Net Settlement Amount will be distributed among Settlement Class members
in proportion to their Net Losses. Each Settlement Class member’s Net Loss will
be the total of the member’s Washington Mutual Common Stock Fund Net Loss, which
will be, for each Settlement Class member, the greater of (a) zero, or (b) the
result obtained by (i) taking the dollar amount of the Settlement Class member’s
Plan account invested in the Washington Mutual Common Stock Fund at the
beginning of the Class Period; (ii) adding the dollar amount added to the
Settlement Class member’s Plan account invested in the Washington Mutual Common
Stock Fund during the Class Period; (iii) subtracting the dollar amount credited
to the Settlement Class member’s Plan account resulting from sales from the
Washington Mutual Common Stock Fund during the Class Period; and (iv)
subtracting the dollar amount of the Settlement Class member’s Plan account
balance in the Washington Mutual Common Stock Fund immediately after the end of
the Class Period.
The Net Losses of the Settlement Class members will be added. Each Settlement
Class member will be assigned a Net Loss Percentage, reflecting the percentage
of the Settlement Class member’s loss in relation to the losses incurred by all
Settlement Class members. Each Settlement Class member’s share of the Net
Settlement Amount will be equal to the Net Settlement Amount multiplied by the
Settlement Class member’s Net Loss Percentage.
Chase performed all
calculations and determined whether you were entitled to a share of the Net
Settlement Amount and your share amount.
Chase had access to all available records so you did not need to be
concerned if you no longer had your Plan account statements.
Chase indentified all Settlement Class
Members whose Preliminary Dollar Recovery was less than $25. These Settlement
Class Members did not receive money from the Net Settlement Amount, and the
recovery otherwise allocable to them was reallocated among the other Settlement
Q: When can I expect to receive my payment?
Payment is conditioned on several things, including the District Court’s and
the Bankruptcy Court’s approval of the settlement and those approvals becoming
Final Orders and no longer subject to any appeals.
Chase distributed the proceeds to eligible Settlement Class Members the
week of June 20, 2011.