A federal judge has declared that Fidelity Investments and the American unit of ABB, Inc. violated federal laws by making pension holders pay excessive 401(k) plan fees, and has ordered the defendants to pay $36.9 million in damages.

The decision stems from a class action suit that went to trial for four weeks in January 2010. It was filed by present and former employees of ABB, Inc., an automation and power technology provider, who are participants in two retirement plans offered by ABB: Personal Retirement Investment and Savings Management Plan and Personal Retirement Investment and Savings Management Plan for Represented Employees of ABB, Inc.

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