Coca-Cola Sued by 401(k) Participants

July 14, 2005 ( - Employees have filed suit against Coca-Cola Co., claiming their employee retirement fund is mismanaged because it's too heavily invested in company stock, Bloomberg News reports.

The suit, filed in Atlanta, claims declining sales and accounting problems made the stock a bad investment. The stock makes up almost 70% of the fund’s holdings, the report said.

Ben Deutsch, a Coke spokesman, said the lawsuit is without merit. He added that employees are free to choose from one of 27 funds offered in the 401(k) plan, and only the company’s matching contribution is invested in Coca-Cola stock.

In April, the cola company settled charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it pressured Japanese bottlers to buy more drink concentrate to boost sales, Bloomberg reports.