Owens Corning Hit with Company Stock Suit

October 25, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A couple who are former employees of Owens Corning of Toledo, Ohio have sued their former employer, claiming restrictions on company stock investments in their 401(k) accounts caused them to lose thousands of dollars.

The Toledo Blade reports that the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, focuses on the time before the company filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2000. While Owens Corning’s stock price plummeted, employees’ sales of stock in their 401(k) accounts were restricted, according to the news report.

The couple said the savings plan restricted employees’ ability to move their savings into less risky investments than company stock and, in 1999, 100% of company match contributions and 50% of all profit-sharing were invested in Owens Corning stock.The suit alleges the stock was unavailable to workers unless they were terminated or had reached age 65.

By the time some restrictions were lifted in September 2000, the company’s stock price had dropped to $2.75 per share, from $19.31 per share in January of 2000, according to the couple’s claim.

The lawsuit seeks class action status for all former and current employees similarly situated, the news report said.   The company ‘s investment review committee, its benefits review committee, company officials involved in the process, Owens Corning’s savings and security plan, and Richard Tober, the plan’s administrator during and prior to 2000, are all named as defendants in the case.

The suit seeks to have plaintiffs’ losses restored.