Court Turns Down Kraft Request for Court Fees

A federal judge has refused a demand from Kraft Foods Global Inc. to order plaintiffs in a 401(k) lawsuit to pay $212,000 the company incurred defending the case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued the ruling after Kraft asked for the money to cover court reporter and copying charges.

Schenkier accepted plaintiffs’ arguments that the litigation costs issue was governed by Employee Retirement Income Security Act  (ERISA) Section 502(g)(1), which allows a judge discretion in awarding lawyer fees and costs.

Schenkier earlier threw out the participants’ suit that alleged the company violated ERISA by paying millions of dollars to the plan’s recordkeeper (see “Kraft Excessive Fee Case Thrown Out”).