Win or lose, the distressed workers challenging IBM’s handling of its overinflated stock-filled retirement plan have opened a door for others pursuing similar fraud cases.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s recent decision to resuscitate the years-old case of Jander v. Retirement Plans Committee of IBM is a rare victory in a series of related Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases that have gone nowhere.

Dan Feinberg, a partner with Feinberg Jackson Worthman & Wasow LLP in Berkeley, Calif., hailed the unexpected move as something to build on.

“The Second Circuit is suggesting that a lot of...