LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Claims Against Blue Cross In Case Alleging Hidden Administrative Fees Continue

FLINT, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on May 3 declined to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds an employer's claim that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by charging hidden fees that were not included in the parties' administrative service contract (ASC) (East Jordan Plastics, Inc., et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 12-cv-15621, E.D. Mich.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63475).

ERISA Applies In Dispute Over Benefits Under Converted Policy, Federal Judge Rules

NEW ORLEANS - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts state law claims by a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, which was converted to an individual policy, on her allegations that the insurer failed to pay the amount owed under the policy and the doctrines of estoppel and waiver did not apply, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled May 2 (Sankey v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. et al., No. 12-1135, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62964).

Shareholder: Business Judgment Rule Invalid In Directors', Officers' Defense

CHICAGO - The plaintiff in a shareholder derivative lawsuit told an Illinois federal court on May 2 that presuit demand upon a company's board of directors is excused because the business judgment rule does not apply to the granting of shares in excess to those allowed by the company's incentive plan (Jan Donnawell v. Daniel Hamburger, et al., No. 12-cv-09074, N.D. Ill.).

Illinois Federal Judge Won't Deconsolidate Patent Case From MDL

CHICAGO - An effort by four patent infringement defendants to secure deconsolidation from pending multidistrict litigation (MDL) was denied May 3 by an Illinois federal judge (Unified Messaging Solutions LLC v. United Online Inc., et al., No. 13-343, MDL No. 2371, N.D. Ill.).

Law Prohibiting Discretionary Clauses Requires De Novo Review, Federal Judge Says

CHICAGO - An Illinois statute prohibiting discretionary clauses in insurance policies applies to a disability policy governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, where the policy was renewed and the insurer terminated the participant's disability benefits after the statute was adopted, a federal judge in Illinois ruled May 1 (Zaccone v. Standard Life Insurance Company, No. 10 CV 00033, N.D. Ill.).

Judge Approves Revlon Directors' And Officers' Shareholder Suit Settlement

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on April 30 approved a $400,000 settlement of a shareholder derivative lawsuit against directors and officers of Revlon Inc. (Richard Smutek, derivatively on behalf of Revlon Inc., v. Ronald O. Perelman, et al., No. 10-cv-00392, D. Del.).

Policy Termination Negates ERISA Claims In Life Insurance Dispute, Judge Rules

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Because a decedent's life insurance policy had been canceled prior to her death, a Kentucky federal judge on April 30 held that the policy beneficiaries' claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) failed (Sandra Morris, et al. v. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 7:12-cv-00101, E.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61196).

Judge Trims Claims In Grocery Store Chain Securities Class Action

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 30 trimmed federal securities law claims brought by lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit who allege that a grocery store chain and others misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law (Ricky Dudley v. Christian W.E. Haub, et al., No. 11-5196, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61386).

Panel Affirms Grant Of Class Certification In Securities Lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in granting class certification in a securities class action lawsuit because price impact evidence does not bear on the inquiry into whether common issues predominate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 30 (Erica John Fund, et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 12-1398, 5th Cir.).

5th Circuit: National Security Exception Bars FBI Worker's Bias Claim

NEW ORLEANS - An FBI contract employee's claim of discrimination fails under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's national security exception, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 29, affirming a trial court (Bobbi-Anne Toy v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, No. 12-20471, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8673).

Lead Plaintiffs Pleaded Scienter, Loss Causation In Securities Suit, Judge Rules

ST. LOUIS - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action against a drug company and certain of its current and former executive officers have properly pleaded scienter and loss causation in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Missouri ruled April 30 (Public Pension Fund Group, et al. v. KV Pharmaceutical Co., et al., No. No. 08-1859, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61361).

Termination Of Benefits Was Not Arbitrary, Capricious, 11th Circuit Holds

ATLANTA - A disability plan insurer did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by terminating long-term disability benefits because the insurer reasonably relied on the opinions of an independent medical examiner and a vocational rehabilitation consultant, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 29 in an unpublished opinion (Patricia Herring v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, No. 12-15864, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8667).

Kodak Reorganization Plan: $49.2M In Claims Fully Paid; Others Partially Recovered

NEW YORK - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on April 30 filed its joint plan of reorganization, which would pay priority claims and secured claims in full, for a total recovery of $49.2 million, while the recovery of $2.8 billion in general unsecured claims is projected to be better than if Kodak converted the case to Chapter 7 liquidation (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Fiduciary Duty Claims Related To Alternative Investments Continue

SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on April 26 declined to dismiss claims that Morgan Stanley, a fiduciary of Weyerhaeuser Co.'s defined benefit pension plan, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in a large number of alternative investments that allegedly contributed to the plan's losing approximately $2.4 billion in 2008 (Michael Palmason v. Weyerhaeuser Company, et al., No. 2:11-cv-00695-RSL, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60161).

Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action Lawsuit With Prejudice

OAKLAND, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs and defendants in a securities class action accusing the defendants of misrepresenting an information technology company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law have agreed to proceed with the filing of a second amended complaint and dismiss the action with prejudice, according to court documents filed in California federal court on April 29 (In re Cisco Systems Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1568, N.D. Calif.).

Judge: Investor Failed To Plead Requisite Subjective Falsity In Securities Suit

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 26 dismissed a shareholder's amended securities class action complaint, ruling that the shareholder failed to plead subjective falsity as required under Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (In re American International Group, Inc. 2008 Securities Litigation, No. 08-4772, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60185).

Wells Fargo Settles MedCap Ponzi Scheme Claims For $105 Million

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Wells Fargo Bank NA on April 30 agreed to pay $105 million to settle consolidated class action claims alleging that it breached its contract by giving noteholders' funds to Medical Capital Holdings Inc. (MedCap) as part of MedCap's alleged $1 billion Ponzi scheme (In Re: Medical Capital Securities Litigation $(Steven Masonek, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, No. 09-1048, Kenneth Bain, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al., No.10-0548, James L. Abbate, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al., No.10-6561$), No. 10-ml-2145, C.D. Calif.).

Shareholder Says Directors And Officers Breached Their Fiduciary Duties

WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder bringing a derivative lawsuit against certain directors and officers of a company over the directors' and officers' alleged violation of a shareholder-approved equity awards plan told a Delaware federal court on April 25 that he has adequately pleaded facts to support his claim that the directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties (Clark Leips, derivatively on behalf of Mindspeed Technologies, Inc., v. Raouf Y. Halim, et al., No. 13-cv-00015, D. Del.).

Report: Slight Increase In Securities Lawsuit Filings In First Quarter

NEW YORK - The number of securities and business litigation and enforcement lawsuits filed in the first quarter of 2013 increased slightly from the fourth quarter of 2012, but the numbers were still "significantly lower than the annual average of the previous four years," according to a quarterly report made available on April 30 by insurance analytics and research provider Advisen Ltd.

4th Circuit Finds It Lacks Jurisdiction To Review Security Clearance Revocation

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 affirmed the revocation of a federal employee's security clearance following his marriage, finding that it lacks jurisdiction to review the decision (Mahmoud M. Hegab v. Letitia A. Long, et al., No. 12-1182, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8411).

Vice Chancellor Denies Motion To Dismiss Shareholder Derivative Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware vice chancellor denied a company's directors' and officers' motion to dismiss a shareholder derivative lawsuit on April 25, finding that the shareholder had pleaded particularized facts that raise a reasonable doubt that the directors and officers acted in good faith in failing to respond to the shareholder's demand that the board of directors investigate an alleged weaknesses in the corporation's internal controls (George Rich, Jr., Derivatively on Behalf of Fuqi International, Inc., v. Yu Kwai Chong, et al., No. 7616-VCG, Del. Chanc.; 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 106).

Judge Remands State's Lawsuit Against Standard & Poor's To State Court

HARTFORD, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on April 24 granted the State of Connecticut's motion to remand a lawsuit alleging that a subsidiary of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC violated the state unfair trade practices law, ruling that the defendants' removal of the action to federal court was untimely (State of Connecticut v. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., et al., No. 13-311, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58528).

Lead Plaintiff Failed To Plead Recklessness In Securities Suit, Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 25 dismissed a lead plaintiff's second amended securities class action complaint against certain current and former executive officers of Eastman Kodak Co., ruling that the lead plaintiff failed to show recklessness on the part of the defendants in pleading scienter (Timothy A. Hutchinson v. Antonio M. Perez, et al., No. 12-1073, S.D. N.Y.).

DuPont Board Members Say Shareholder's Derivative Suit Should Be Dismissed

WILMINGTON, Del. - Directors and officers of E. I. du Pont de Nemours Co. told a Delaware federal court on April 23 that a shareholder has failed to adequately plead that presuit demand upon the company's board of directors would have been futile (Robert Zomolosky, derivatively on behalf of E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company v. Ellen Kullman, et al., No. 13-cv-00094, D. Del.).

NVIDIA Secures Dismissal Of California CFAA, Unfair Competition Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge agreed April 22 that allegations that NVIDIA Corp. violated the state unfair competition law (UCL), codified at California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, must fail because they are preempted by the federal Copyright Act (Metabyte Inc. v. NVIDIA, et al., No. 12-44, N.D. Calif.).