AOL Participant Files Stock Suit

February 26, 2003 ( - Another troubled stock, another participant lawsuit.

The latest is Steven Winfield, a disgruntled participant in AOL Time Warner Inc.’s employee-retirement plan, according to Dow Jones.   Winfield, who still holds AOL stock in his retirement portfolio, according to the report, says his employer should have warned workers not to keep investing in its stock.

The lawsuit claims that AOL and the programs’ administrators misled employees about the company’s profitability and are responsible for “impudent investments” in AOL’s stock that resulted in heavy losses.

Winfield claims he and other investors were misled about the benefits of AOL’s 2001 merger with Time Warner.

The suit also contends that the plan’s administrators breached their fiduciary duty by allowing an “imprudently high percentage” of the plans’ assets to be invested in AOL. The suit, filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), seeks class-action status on behalf of thousands of workers that participated in AOL’s three retirement plans since April 2001.  

The suit asks for the return of losses suffered as a result of the investment in AOL stock, plus other relief, according to the report.