Tower Automotive Files Chapter 11, Being Investigated for ERISA Breach

February 9, 2005 ( - Tower Automotive and its domestic subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and an investigation into possible Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) violations by the company has been launched by a law firm.

The filing by Tower was in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Also, according to a press release, Stull, Skull & Brody has announced that the law firm is looking into whether the Tower 401(k) plan fiduciaries violated ERISA by failing to disclose the firm’s true financial condition to participants and beneficiaries and/or by offering company stock as an investment in the plan.

In federal bankruptcy court, the company has said that it will continue to pay employee salaries, wages and benefits, and also honor warranties and other customer obligations, according to The company has told employees that it will not be liquidated and day-to-day operations will continue almost as before.

Trading of the company’s stock – which was held by many employees in their 401(k) plans, according to reports – was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had dropped to $0.77 a share, down from a twelve-month high of $6.94, before trading was halted. The company will not appeal the decision of the exchange, according to news reports.