The Supreme Court has asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on a fiduciary claim against the investment committee for R.J. Reynolds.

The case came before the court after the tobacco company petitioned it in December to review a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which ruled in favor of participants in RJR's defined contribution plan. The plaintiffs alleged the company prematurely liquidated company stock, causing losses to the plan in a "reverse stock drop" case. 

A district court had ruled that the company breached its fiduciary duty by not fully investigating the decision to sell Nabisco stock, which formerly owned R.J. Reynolds. The stock was at all-time lows when it was liquidated in January 2000. A year later, it had reached an all-time high. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.