WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two class action suits involving the use of proprietary funds with in-house pension plans have opened the door for class action lawyers who are likely to go after other mutual fund companies, according to industry lawyers.

A class action suit filed against First Union of Richmond, Va. in Sept. 1999, was settled last month for a total of $26 million. Judge Richard Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia gave preliminary approval to the settlement on March 22. The final hearing on the fairness of the settlement is scheduled for June. Another class action suit, brought against New York Life Insurance Company, was filed last June. (MFMN 6/26/00) That case is still in the early stages of discovery and no trial date has been set.

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