O’Reilly Secures Dismissal of ERISA Class Action

On behalf of O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. and the other named defendants, we secured a rare 12(b)(6) dismissal, with no opportunity to amend, of a putative class action complaint brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The plaintiffs — six former employees of O’Reilly — alleged that the company breached fiduciary duties under ERISA by allowing participants in its 401(k) retirement plan to pay purportedly excessive recordkeeping and investment management fees in connection with the plan. Following oral argument on May 23, 2023, Judge Brian C. Wimes orally granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss and denied the plaintiffs’ informal request to file a further amended complaint. Adopting the defendants’ arguments, the court held that the plaintiffs failed to plead “meaningful benchmarks” for their excessive fee allegations and therefore did not satisfy the Eighth Circuit’s pleading standard for ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims.