Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the settlement. Detailed information about the settlement is contained in the Class Notice and Settlement Agreement.

If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact us directly.

About The Settlement

What is this Lawsuit about?

Plaintiff filed a class action complaint against Munson on behalf of the Plan and a class of Plan participants, alleging certain claims for breach of fiduciary duty and other alleged violations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.

Munson has denied and continues to deny Plaintiff’s claims and allegations in their entirety, denies that it is liable at all to the Plaintiff or the Settlement Class Members, and denies that the Plaintiff, Settlement Class Members or the Plan have suffered any harm or damage for which Munson could or should be held responsible, as Munson denies all allegations of wrongdoing and asserts that its conduct was lawful. Indeed, the Court has already dismissed Counts II and IV of the Complaint. Munson contends that the Plan has been managed, operated and administered at all relevant times in compliance with ERISA and applicable regulations. Munson is settling the Action solely to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and inherent risk and disruption of litigation.

Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not decided in favor of either side in this Action. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, both sides avoid the cost and risk of a trial, and the affected current and former Plan participants will get substantial benefits that they would not have received if Plaintiff had litigated the case and lost. Plaintiff and his attorney believe the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members and the Plan.

Who is a Class Member?

The Court decided that everyone who fits this description is a Settlement Class Member:

All participants and beneficiaries of the Munson 403(b) Plan, at any time during the Class Period, including any beneficiary of a deceased person who was a participant in the Plan at any time during the Class Period, and any Alternate Payees, in the case of a person subject to a QDRO who was a participant in the Plan at any time during the Class Period. Excluded from the Class are: Amy Tennis, Mark Helper, Peter Marinoff, Lori Whilden, Mark Deponio, Sue Peters, Mike Zdrodowski, Bob Courtois, Darrell Lavender, Ellen Smith, Alicia Maitland, and Mary Clulo.

The “Class Period” is defined as March 29, 2016 through May 16, 2023, the date of Preliminary Approval.

What does the Settlement provide?

Under the Settlement, Munson or its insurers will pay $600,000 into a Qualified Settlement Fund to resolve the claims of the Class. The Net Settlement Fund (after deduction of any Court-approved Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Settlement Administration Expenses, Independent Fiduciary’s fees, and Plaintiff’s Case Contribution Award, and taxes) will be allocated to Settlement Class Members according to a Plan of Allocation to be approved by the Court. Allocations to Current Participants who are entitled to a distribution under the Plan of Allocation will be made into their existing accounts in the Plans. Former Participants who are entitled to a distribution will receive their distribution as a check.

All Settlement Class Members will fully release the Defendant Released Parties from Released Claims. The Defendant Released Parties include a) each Defendant; (b) each Defendant’s insurers, co-insurers, and reinsurers; (c) each Defendant’s past, present, and future parent corporation(s); (d) each Defendant’s past, present, and future affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, joint ventures, predecessors, successors, successors-in-interest, and assigns; (e) with respect to (a) through (d) above, the past, present and future members of their respective boards of trustees or boards of directors, agents, directors, trustees, partners, officers, managers, members, employees, independent contractors, representatives, attorneys, administrators, fiduciaries, accountants, auditors, advisors, consultants, personal representatives, spouses, heirs, executors, associates, employee benefit plan fiduciaries (with the exception of the Independent Fiduciary), employee benefit plan administrators, service providers to the Plan, including Plan Recordkeeper (including its owners, officers, and employees), members of their immediate families, consultants, subcontractors, and all persons acting under, by, through, or in concert with any of them; (f) the current and former members of the Munson Retirement Program Administrative Committee (“Committee”); and (g) the Plan and all of the Plan’s current and former fiduciaries, administrators, plan administrators, trustees, recordkeepers, service providers, consultants, and parties-in-interest.

Generally, the release means that Settlement Class Members will not have the right to sue the Released Parties for conduct during the Class Period arising out of or relating to the allegations in the lawsuit.

How much will my payment be?

The amount, if any, that will be allocated to you will be based upon records maintained by the Plan’s recordkeeper. Calculations regarding the individual distributions will be performed by the Settlement Administrator, whose determinations will be final and binding, pursuant to the Court-approved Plan of Allocation.

The Net Settlement Fund will also depend on the amount of any Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Settlement Administration Expenses, Independent Fiduciary’s fees, and Plaintiff’s Case Contribution Award that are awarded by the Court, as these will be paid out of the Settlement Fund of $600,000. Class Counsel will file a motion for an award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Settlement Administration Expenses, and Plaintiff’s Case Contribution Award at least 75 days prior to the objection deadline. This motion will be considered at the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel will limit their application for Attorneys’ Fees to not more than one-third of the Settlement Fund ($200,000), plus reasonable litigation expenses advanced and carried by Class Counsel for the duration of the Action, not to exceed $50,000. In addition, Class Counsel will seek compensation for the Plaintiff in the form of a Case Contribution Award in an amount not to exceed $10,000. The Court will determine the amount of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Settlement Administration Expenses, and Case Contribution Award that will be awarded, if any. All papers filed in this action, including Class Counsel’s motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, Settlement Administration Expenses, and Plaintiff’s Compensation, will be available for review via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records System (PACER), available online at

How can I receive my payment?

Affected Settlement Class Members do not have to submit claim forms to receive a Settlement recovery. Their Settlement recoveries will be distributed automatically in the following manner if the Court approves the Settlement:

“Current Participants” are current Plan participants who have a positive balance in their Plan account. The Settlement recovery for Current Participants will be deposited directly into their Plan accounts in accordance with their investment elections for future contributions. If no investment elections for future contributions are on file, the payment will be invested in the Plan’s qualified default investment alternative. For payments to Current Participants into their Plan accounts, taxes will not be withheld.

“Former Participants” are individuals who had an active Plan account sometime since March 29, 2016, but currently do not have an account with a positive balance. Former Participants will automatically receive payments under the Settlement in the form of a check with applicable 1099 taxes withheld; and do not need to submit any paperwork to receive a payment under the settlement.

Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

You cannot exclude yourself from the Settlement, but you may notify the Court of your objection to the Settlement.

How do I object to the Settlement?

You can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. If you object, you must give the reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views. Your objection to the Settlement must be postmarked no later than September 6, 2023, and must be sent to the Court and the attorneys for the Parties.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

A Fairness Hearing has been set for October 4, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. The hearing may be conducted telephonically, by video conference, or in person before the Hon. Paul L. Maloney at 137 Federal Bldg., 410 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. At the hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court will hear any comments, objections, and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including the amount requested by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and the Case Contribution Award to Plaintiffs. You do not need to attend this hearing. You also do not need to attend to have an objection considered by the Court.