CHICAGO - Foreign workers' claims that the administrators of plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act improperly withheld taxes from the workers' benefits are barred by the U.S. tax code to the extent the claims seek monetary damages and injunctive and declaratory relief, a federal judge in Illinois ruled May 2 (Ramon Mejia, et al. v. Verizon Management Pension Plan, et al., No. 11 C 3949, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61090).
PITTSBURGH - A woman who worked as a security guard has established a prima facie hostile work environment claim based on sexual harassment by submitting evidence from which a trier of fact could conclude that she was subjected to pervasive harassment and that her employer did not take adequate remedial action when she complained about the harassment, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge held May 3 (Patricia Hall v. Guardsmark, LLC, No. 11-115, W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61923).
PHILADELPHIA - A hospital lacked standing as a participant or a beneficiary to bring a claim for benefits under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a); therefore, the hospital's breach of contract claim against the sponsor and third-party claims administrator of a medical plan for failure to pay for medical services rendered on behalf of a plan participant were not completely preempted, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 2 in remanding the case to state court (Tenet Health System Philadelphia, Inc. v. Diversified Administration Corporation, et al., No. 07-4948, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61395).
PHILADELPHIA - A former Philadelphia condo building concierge failed to prove that his employer unlawfully discriminated and retaliated against him, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 3, upholding a trial court opinion (Tyrone White v. Planned Security Services, et al., No. 11-4622, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9075).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on May 3 appointed a shareholder as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its executive officers for alleged federal securities law violations in connection with the marketing of a maternity injection drug, ruling that the shareholder has met all statutory requirements for serving in the role as lead plaintiff (In re K-V Pharmaceutical Co. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1816, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62161).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two remaining claims in a negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against auditing firm KPMG LLP and others are derivative in nature and must be arbitrated pursuant to an arbitration clause, a Florida appeals panel ruled May 2 (KPMG LLP v. Robert Cocchi, et al., Nos. 4D09-4867 and 4D10-988, Fla. App., 4th Dist.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
SYDNEY, Australia - The High Court of Australia on May 3 overturned an appeals court ruling that reversed a judge's decision in a civil case filed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) concerning non-executive directors and company officials of James Hardie Industries Limited (JHIL), finding that the ASIC proved that the company's board approved a statement that inaccurately represented the amount of funding available to pay all asbestos-related claims (Australian Securities and Investments Commission v. Hellicar, et al., No. (2012) HCA 17, Australia High). Subscribers may view the judgment available within the full update.
HOUSTON - A shareholder bringing a derivative suit against a Bermuda corporation argues in an April 30 brief that a Texas federal court has subject matter jurisdiction because the shareholder's claims are the exact type of claims a Bermuda court would agree to hear (Erie County Employees Retirement System v. Eugene M. Isenberg, No. 11-cv-04052, S.D. Texas). Subscribers may view the response available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on May 1 rejected an investor's motion for exclusion from a $200 million securities class action settlement with Charles Schwab Corp., certain of its current and former officers and directors and others, ruling that the investor failed to timely opt out of the class settlement (In re Charles Schwab Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 08-1510, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60958).
BOSTON - Nearly all acquisitions of large U.S. public companies that were announced in 2010 or 2011 resulted in the filing of multiple lawsuits, according to a report issued by Cornerstone Research and made available on April 30. Subscribers may view the report available within the full update.
WILMINGTON, Del. - Sporting goods company Prince Sports Inc. on May 1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, citing $65 million in secured debt and $10.2 million in trade debt (In Re: Prince Sports Inc., No. 12-11439, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against a company, certain of its directors and officers and its auditor alleged in a California federal court on April 30 that they have given sufficient reason why presuit demand on a company's board of directors would have been futile (In re Diamond Foods, Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 11-cv-05692, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 30 denied review of a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Winstar ruling that dismissed a bank's breach of contract claims against the U.S. government regarding more than $13 million in losses the bank sustained when the thrift in which the bank invested was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s (First Annapolis Bancorp Inc. v. United States of America, No. 11-912, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder in a securities class action lawsuit has failed to show that a majority of a company's former directors had a conflict of interest in allowing to the sale of the company to Oracle Corp. for a price the shareholder believes was well below the company's true value, a Delaware vice chancellor ruled April 27 (In re Art Technology Group, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, No. 5955-VCL, Del. Chanc.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware chancellor on April 27 found that a company lacks standing to bring derivative claims against a British Virgin Islands corporation because the company failed to follow certain requisite procedures under British Virgin Islands law (Microsoft Corporation v. Vadem, Ltd., et al., No. 6940-VCP, Del. Chanc.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Comparable sales upon which an insured relied did not support its valuation opinion regarding an insurance broker's alleged failure to secure insurance for an office building that was later damaged by arson, a California appeals panel held April 25, affirming that the broker is entitled to a new trial on damages (Main Street-Santa Ana LLC v. Donald Kappauf, No. G044446, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3115).
NEW YORK - Although entirely lifting the mandatory discovery stay in a securities class action lawsuit is not proper, lifting it in part to allow a lead plaintiff to request that a nonparty preserve certain documents is proper, a federal judge in New York ruled April 25 (In re Smith Barney Transfer Agent Litigation, No. 05-7583, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58070).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Official Committee of Equity Security Holders in bankrupt Syms Corp. on April 25 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to Syms' motion for appointment of an examiner to investigate potential estate causes of action related to the company's directors and officers, contending that the examiner's report will be of no value (In Re: Filene's Basement LLC, No. 11-13511, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Parties to a shareholder lawsuit against a company and certain of the company's directors and officers over the sale of the company on April 26 filed a stipulation and agreement of settlement in a Delaware court (In re Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, No. 6853-VCP, Del. Chanc.).
NEW YORK - A monoline insurer has properly pleaded its fraud-based claims against Goldman, Sachs & Co. for allegedly fraudulently inducing it into providing guaranty insurance for a collateralized debt obligation, but it has failed to plead its claim for unjust enrichment, a New York justice ruled April 23 in granting in part and denying in part Goldman Sachs' motion to dismiss (ACA Financial Guaranty v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., No. 650027/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against a reinsurance company, certain of its former officers and directors and others have properly pleaded scienter and loss causation against a majority of the defendants, a federal judge in New York ruled April 23 in substantially denying the defendants' motions to dismiss (In re Stillwater Capital Partners Inc. Litigation, No. 11-2275, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57515).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 23 approved a $38 million settlement of a shareholder suit against a company and certain of its directors and officers, finding it fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Cadence Design Systems, Inc. Securities and Derivative Litigation, No. 08-cv-04966, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56785).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on April 24 dismissed a putative class action case against a health insurer, saying the plaintiff failed to state a cause of action because the actions taken by the defendant in seeking repayment of money for services provided failed to implicate the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq. (TR13 Enterprises v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 11-3021, D. N.J.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57158).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on April 20 granted a motion to dismiss a suit accusing defendants of enabling an alleged Ponzi scheme conducted by a defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission action, ruling that securities law statutes of limitations bar the plaintiffs' federal claims and declining supplemental jurisdiction over their state law claims (Padilla, et al. v. Winger, et al., No. 11-00897, D. Utah; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56688).
NEW YORK - The bankruptcy judge in the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) litigation related to the Chapter 11 proceeding of MF Global Inc. (MFGI) on April 24 granted the SIPA trustee's claims distribution motion but ruled that agreements the SIPA trustee entered with certain claimants were void and had to be revised (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). See prior history, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 1490, and 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 995. Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.