New York Federal Judge Certifies Workers' Class Suit Against Title Company

NEW YORK - A lawsuit by a former employee of defunct title services firm Titleserv Inc. alleging that the company violated a federal law when it closed its doors in 2011 without first notifying workers can proceed as a class action, a New York federal judge held Dec. 13 ( David Assif v. Titleserv, Inc...

2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Stock-Drop Lawsuit Again Sallie Mae

NEW YORK - Participants in an employee stock option plan sponsored by Sallie Mae failed to sufficiently allege that the plan fiduciaries knew or should have known that the company was in a "dire circumstance" and, therefore, the participants failed to demonstrate that the fiduciaries breached...

ERISA Prudence Claims Related To Madoff Scheme Continue; Other Claims Dismissed

NEW YORK - Pension funds sufficiently alleged that a hedge fund and its managers breached their fiduciary duties of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing pension plan assets in funds that suffered major losses as a result of the Ponzi scheme perpetuated by Bernard L...

5th Circuit: Flexible Flyer Did Not Violate WARN Act In Filing For Bankruptcy

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 11 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling that a company did not violate federal employment law when it suddenly filed for bankruptcy, closed its plan and conducted mass layoffs because those developments were not foreseeable...

Bankruptcy Judge: WARN Claim Against Dewey & LeBoeuf May Proceed As Class Action

NEW YORK - A federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 11 ruled that a putative class action asserting claims under the Worker Adjustment and Renotification (WARN) Act against bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf could proceed (Vittoria Conn v. Dewey & LeBoeuf $(In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf$), No. 12-12321...

Plan Participants Fail To Show That Fiduciary Breach Caused Losses, Judge Finds

DURHAM, N.C. - Participants in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s 401(k) plan are not entitled to recover for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act based on the removal of Nabisco stock from the plan following a spin-off, even though the plan failed to undertake an appropriate...

2nd Circuit: Presumption Of Prudence Doesn't Apply To Particular UBS Plan

NEW YORK - The fiduciaries of an eligible individual account plan (EIAP) that permits investment in employer stock but does not require or "strongly encourage" such investments are not entitled to the presumption of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit...

9th Circuit Reverses, Vacates Certification In Newspaper Workers' Wage Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 4 vacated findings of commonality and predominance in a wage-and-hour class suit brought by newspaper employees and remanded for reconsideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (131 S...

Presumption Of Prudence Applies; Judge Dismisses Pfizer Stock-Drop Case

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 29 dismissed claims by participants in Pfizer Inc.'s retirement savings plans that the plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, finding that the participants failed to demonstrate that the plans'...

Certification Denied For Employees' Conspiracy Claims Against High-Tech Companies

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 5 denied certification of two proposed classes of employees of seven high-tech companies on the employees' allegations that the defendants conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into...

5th Circuit: Presumption Of Prudence Applies To Motion To Dismiss In ESOP Case

NEW ORLEANS - Participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who alleged that the plan's fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by continuing to offer and hold company stock as an investment option failed to overcome the presumption of prudence...

Employees Reach Settlement With 2 High-Tech Employers On Conspiracy Claims

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Employees who allege that seven high-tech companies conspired to restrict the mobility of technical employees by entering into agreements not to compete for each other's employees told a federal judge in California on July 12 that they have reached an agreement with defendants...

Court Affirms Denial Of Certification Of Nurses' Competition Law Class Claims

SAN DIEGO - A trial court judge provided an appellate opinion as an alternative explanation for his ruling denying class certification of a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim but did not fail to address the claim, a state appeals court held July 17 (Juan Marcos Almaraz, et al. v. Sharp Healthcare...

Antitrust, Some ERISA Claims Dismissed From Wellpoint Reimbursement MDL

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on July 19 dismissed antitrust and other claims alleging that WellPoint Inc. and other companies conspired to use a flawed database to set the rates for which out-of-network medical services (ONS) are reimbursed (In re: WellPoint Inc. Out-Of-Network "UCR"...

Michigan Federal Judge Approves $3M Settlement In Flagstar Stock-Drop Case

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on July 29 granted preliminary approval to a $3 million settlement of claims by Flagstar Bancorp Inc. 401(k) plan participants that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by offering company stock as an investment...

7th Circuit Addresses Class Certification In 401(k) Fiduciary Duty Breach Case

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 reversed a district court's denial of class certification to participants in 401(k) plans on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in a stable...

9th Circuit Declines To Rehear Opinion Vacating UCL Employment Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 3 declined to rehear a case in which it decertified newspaper workers' California unfair competition law (UCL) class claims, withdrew its previous opinion and issued a new one remanding for reconsideration of commonality and...

Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA Stock-Drop Case Against SunTrust Banks Fiduciaries

ATLANTA - Fiduciaries of SunTrust Banks Inc.'s 401(k) plan did not breach their fiduciary duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining the plan's investment in company stock when the bank had exposure to subprime mortgage loan losses, a federal judge ruled Sept...

9th Circuit: Incorporating SEC Filings By Reference Into SPD Is Fiduciary Act

SAN FRANCISCO - Participants in eligible individual account plans (EIAPs) sponsored by a drug manufacturer sufficiently alleged that the plans' fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duty of care imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining company stock in the plans when the...

Class Certification Granted In Employees' Antitrust Suit Against High-Tech Companies

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 24 granted a supplemental motion for class certification in an antitrust suit accusing high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one...

9th Circuit: Ralphs Grocery's Arbitration Policy Is Unconscionable

PASADENA, Calif. - A grocery store chain's arbitration policy is unconscionable under California contract law and that state law is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Zenia Chavarria, et al. v. Ralphs Grocery Company, No. 11...

Bed, Bath & Beyond To Pay $415,000 To Settle Managers' Expenses Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 granted preliminary approval of a $415,000 settlement in a class complaint seeking reimbursement for managers employed by a chain of home goods stores who were not reimbursed when they used their personal vehicles for business purposes (Sean Boring...

2nd Circuit Upholds Ruling For Starbucks In Suit Over Tip Pool Participation

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 affirmed a ruling that a coffee chain's policy of allowing shift supervisors to participate in tip pooling does not violate New York Labor Law Section 196-d (Jeana Barenboim, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 10-4912, 2nd Cir.; 2013...

High Court Will Consider Presumption Of Prudence In ERISA Stock-Drop Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 agreed to review a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Fifth Third Bancorp and its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustees breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by continuing to offer company...

High Court Denies Review Of 7th Circuit's 401(k) Class Certification Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 denied review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling vacating denial of class certification to retirement plans' participants on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income...