CHICAGO - An attorney may not recover fees under the common-fund doctrine in addition to or in lieu of fees awarded under a fee-shifting statute like the Employee Retirement Income Security Act "in the absence of a contract," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 1 (Darryl Pierce, et al. v. Visteon Corporation, et al., No. 14-2542, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11333).
AUSTIN, Texas - A concert organizer, a security company and a sponsor of the concert are not vicariously liable for injuries suffered by a concert attendee as the result of the negligence of a third party, a Texas appeals court ruled July 3 (Richard Patrick Fagerberg v. Steve Madden Ltd., et al., No. 03-13-002860-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 6887).
SAN FRANCISCO - An employer did not unlawfully interfere with a pension plan participant's right to early retirement benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by terminating her employment because she was terminated for violating the employer's privacy policies, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 1 in an unpublished opinion (Rosemarie Cole v. The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 13-15952, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11346).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina on July 1 substantially denied a motion to dismiss in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insurer has failed to show that an insured's state law claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Craig Bryson, et al. v. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-0142, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85594).
NEW YORK - An oil and gas industry products provider has agreed to a $120 million settlement of claims with investors that it violated provisions of federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business and financial condition, according to a press release issued July 1 (Glenn Freedman v. Weatherford International Ltd., et al., No. 12-2121, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 declined to review a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on the burden of proof on the issue of causation and the proper standard to assess causation in a 401(k) breach of fiduciary duty case under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, following the solicitor general's finding that the Fourth Circuit correctly decided both issues and that "there is no clear circuit split on either question" (RJR Pension Investment Committee, et al. v. Richard G. Tatum, No. 14-656, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 granted review of a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts Vermont's health care data collection law, which requires health care payers to report claims and health care-services data to a state agency, as applied to a self-funded ERISA benefit plan or its third-party administrators (Alfred J. Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 14-181, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 agreed to hear an appeal of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling remanding a securities class action lawsuit over the alleged illegal "naked" short selling of a company's stock back to state court Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., et al. v. Greg Manning, et al., No. 14-1132, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Remand of a securities class action suit to state court is proper because the defendants were prohibited from removing the action to federal court in the first place, a federal judge in California ruled June 25 (Alexander Liu v. Xoom Corp., et al., No. 15-0602, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82830).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied a defendant's request to review an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming denial his qualified immunity motion to dismiss a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit (Michael Boudreaux v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 14-1142, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 4361).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on June 26 that its reinsurer's motion to stay a $1 million reinsurance billing dispute is an attempt to avoid having to post pre-pleading security that the insurer claims is mandated by Connecticut state law (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because the lead plaintiff failed to properly plead scienter and failed to show that a number of his claims were subject to equitable tolling, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 23 (In re Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 14-2581, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10530).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on June 22 granted a motion to stay a class complaint accusing a credit-reporting agency of federal and state reporting act violations pending a decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.) (Sergio L. Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 12-632, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80692).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A federal judge in Arkansas on June 19 denied a motion to sequence class and merits discovery in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that staying discovery will lead to "further delays and complications" in the litigation (City of Pontiac General Employees' Retirement System v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 12-5162, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79392).
INDIANAPOLIS - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Indiana ruled June 18, because the lead plaintiff's securities fraud claims "are simply too vague and attenuated to withstand the heightened pleading requirements" (Eva and Harold Baron, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., et al., No. 13-2032, S.D. Ind.).
MINNEAPOLIS - Even though a plaintiff in one of the class actions filed against Premera Blue Cross sought transfer and consolidation of all related lawsuits in Washington, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on June 16 opted to consolidate the suits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (In re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2633, JPMDL; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77460).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 granted U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. a 30-day extension to file a petition for writ of certiorari with the court in an insider trading lawsuit to review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling in the case (United States of America v. Todd Newman, et al., No. 14A1264, U.S. Sup.).