IBM has a retirement plan, part of which is based on company stock. The person managing that stock, failed to act on information that IBM’s microelectronics unit was having issues, which would have presumably lowered the stock’s value, and thus harmed the holders of the stock. So they sued, because that’s what you do when you think someone fucked you in the ass without so much as a reach around.
Back in 2014, SCOTUS ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. that the person running such funds is not given a “presumption of prudence.” This is a fancy way of saying, the courts do not assume this person has done the right thing unless there’s strong evidence to prove otherwise. Making the burden of proof for beneficiaries to prove wrongdoing, not that high. They pretty much just have to show that they could, “plausibly allege that a prudent fiduciary in the defendant’s position could not have concluded that [an alternative action] would do more harm than good to the fund.”
As such, the IBM peeps were like, “this dude fucked up, and we want our god damn losses covered. These assholes knew there was a problem, but instead of buying other stuck which was a safer bet, they kept investing in IBM stock.”
So now here we are at SCOTUS trying to decide if a fiduciary who knows the company stock may have an issue, but keeps investing anyway, be assumed to have done more harm than good under the previous 5/3 Bank ruling?
SCOTUS however, decided that they’ve heard all the arguments and they were bored AF with them. So much so, that they couldn’t even be bothered to give an opinion. So they sent it back to the second court to deal with that shit.