SAN FRANCISCO - A biopharmaceutical company shareholder filed a securities class action complaint in California federal court on Dec. 18, alleging that the company and certain of its executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Kang Li v. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 15-5841, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 21 denied a motion to dismiss by an outside auditor in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and scienter in making his federal securities law claims (Chao Sun v. Daqing Han, et al., No. 15-703, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170005).
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - In a product liability trial that lasted just over a week, a California jury on Dec. 17 found that a woman's injuries from a security door were not the fault of the company that sold the door (Paradee Chularee, et al. v. The Cookson Company Inc., et al., No. S216305, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. wealth management subsidiaries will pay a combined $307 million to settle claims with federal agencies that they steered client investments into their own investment products in an attempt to secure higher fees, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in a Dec. 18 press release (In the Matter of JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, No. 3-17008, SEC).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Federal authorities on Dec. 17 arrested former hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical company CEO Martin Shkreli for his alleged role in orchestrating a Ponzi scheme from 2009 to 2014 and unsealed an indictment in New York federal court charging him with seven counts of securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy (United States of America v. Martin Shkreli, No. 15-637, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 10 order, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) consolidated nine putative class actions over a data security breach of a medical technology firm in Indiana federal court (In re: Medical Informatics Engineering Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. MDL No. 2667, JPMDL; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166044).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge properly affirmed a decision by an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan administrator to deny a widow benefits in connection with her late husband's fatal fall, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 11 (Judy Hagen v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-40597, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21460).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A breach of contract counterclaim brought in response to an action seeking a declaration that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a request for indemnification was dismissed Dec. 10 by a West Virginia federal judge (Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corporation, et al. v. Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley Inc., et al., No. 15-65, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165705).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 9 dismissed a securities class action complaint against an Internet startup company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that lead plaintiffs in the action failed to properly plead any actionable misrepresentation or scienter in making their federal securities law claims (Satyabrata Mahapatra v. TrueCar Inc., et al., No. 15-3979, C.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 8 ruled that a Securities and Exchange Commission administrative judge order against two former employees of State Street Bank and Trust Co. was in error because the SEC's ruling was not "supported by substantial evidence" (John P. Flannery v. Securities & Exchange Commission, No. 15-1080; James D. Hopkins v. Securities & Exchange Commission, No. 15-1117, 1st Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Morgan Stanley & Co. will pay $225 million to settle claims in two federal lawsuits alleging that it misrepresented the investment quality of certain residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) it and certain of its subsidiaries underwrote to several credit unions during the subprime mortgage crisis, according to a press release issued by the National Credit Union Administration Board (NCUA) on Dec. 10 (National Credit Union Administration Board v. Morgan Stanley & Co., No. 13-2418, D. Kan; National Credit Union Administration Board v. Morgan Stanley & Co., No. 13-6705, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 8 granted final approval of a $15 million securities class action settlement, ruling that the settlement, plan of allocation and attorneys' fees sought are reasonable (Mark Roberti v. OSI Systems Inc., et al., No. 13-9174, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164312).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 7 granted a shareholder's motion for appointment as lead plaintiff, ruling that it has shown that it has the largest financial interest in the litigation and has met all statutory requirements for appointment (In re Plains All American Pipeline L.P. Securities Litigation, No. 15-2404, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163811).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 8 granted final approval of a $15 million securities class action settlement, ruling that the settlement, plan of allocation and attorney fees sought are reasonable (Mark Roberti v. OSI Systems Inc., et al., No. 13-9174, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164312).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five lawsuits against the operator AshleyMadison.com related to a July 2015 breach of the adult dating website's network were consolidated in Missouri federal court on Dec. 9 by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL), which ruled that centralization in that venue will best "serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation" (In Re: Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2669, JPMDL).
SEATTLE - Dismissal of a securities class action complaint is proper because the lead plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims when they failed to appeal a federal judge's ruling dismissing those claims against BP PLC and others, a federal judge in Washington ruled Dec. 7 (Claude A. Reese, et al. v. Robert A. Malone, et al., No. 08-1008, W.D. Wash.).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A request for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was remanded Dec. 1 to a claims administrator by a South Carolina federal judge, who deemed allegations that two plaintiffs were denied a full and fair review "well-founded" (Wayne Boyd, et al. v. Sysco Corporation, et al., No. 13-599, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160576).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 1 denied a disability claimant's motion for reconsideration on the basis that the claimant failed to present any new evidence as to why a prior ruling that a short-term disability plan is not governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act should not stand (Kelly Foster v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., et al., No. 14-1241, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160470).
ATLANTA - A district court did not err in determining that claims alleged against a health insurer are completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 1 in affirming the district court's dismissal of the suit (Gables Insurance Recovery Inc., as assignee of South Miami Chiropractic LLC, v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., No. 15-10459, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20789).