NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in dismissing an investor's securities lawsuit against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. because the investor failed to state a claim for relief, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 11 (Iconix Brand Group Inc. v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., No. 12-2735, 2nd Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - Repeated references to dental floss on a dental device's packaging could mislead a reasonable consumer into believing the device could replace flossing, a federal judge held Dec. 7 in rejecting a motion to dismiss a California unfair competition law (UCL) action (Lilia Perkins, et al. v. Philips Oral Health Care Inc., et al., No. 12-1414, S.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 denied Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.'s motion to expedite its appeal of the order by a federal judge in New York granting preliminary approval to the $7.25 billion class action settlement between merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 12-4671[L], 12-4708[Con], 12-4765[Con], 2nd Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Parties involved in a multidistrict litigation case in which defendants are accused of manipulating the rates for which they reimburse out-of-network medical providers filed a joint motion on Dec. 7 asking a New Jersey federal judge to preliminarily approve a settlement valued up to $120 million (In re: Aetna UCR Litigation, MDL No. 2020, Master File No. 07-3541, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 heard oral arguments involving whether federal arbitration law preempts California's policy against arbitration of California unfair competition law (UCL) actions seeking public injunctive relief (Matthew C. Kilgore, et al. v. KeyBank National Association, et al., No. 09-16703, 9th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 affirmed the dismissal of a suit in which a debtor sued in an attempt to avoid repaying his student loans, ruling that a district court had subject matter jurisdiction to dismiss his claims with prejudice and properly denied his motion to vacate a judgment (Joseph Johnson Jr. v. Affiliated Computer Services Inc., et al., No. 12-10184, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25228).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt MSR Resort Golf Course LLC on Dec. 11 filed an amended Chapter 11 plan of reorganization in which general unsecured creditors would receive full recovery based in part of the infusion of $1.49 billion from a successful stalking horse bid made by the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GSI) (In Re: MSR Resort Golf Course LLC, No. 11-10372, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A group of shareholders alleged in a New York federal court on Dec. 10 that certain directors and officers of a company did not exercise valid business judgment regarding an alleged scheme to overcharge a customer for certain services and, therefore, presuit demand upon the company's board would have been futile (In re SAIC Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 12-cv-02437, S.D. N.Y.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder asked a Delaware court on Dec. 10 to approve a settlement with certain directors and officers of a company that have agreed to implement corporate governance changes regarding related-party transactions (Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System v. Harold C. Simmons, et al., No. 7059-CS, Del. Chanc.).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A federal judge in Missouri on Dec. 11 dismissed a suit in which a home developer sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for a failed bank, asserting claims arising from loan repudiation, because the bank had already disbursed all of the funds available under the loans by the time it was declared insolvent, thus fulfilling its obligations (Greater Midwest Builders Ltd. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., No. 11-04225, W.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175114).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 10 ruled that Bank of America could proceed with a lawsuit against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to collect $1.7 billion related to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Taylor Bean Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW) (Bank of America v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 10-1681, D. D.C.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The bond creditors in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of the City of San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California arguing that the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is not exempt from the automatic stay (In Re: City of San Bernardino, Calif., No. 12-28006, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 affirmed a district court's ruling that held that a dismissal order in a bankruptcy proceeding was not final and, therefore, the case was not resolved (Terry L. Steffen v. Douglas N. Menchise [In Re: Terry L. Steffen], No. 11-15757, Chapter 7, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25254).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has agreed to the forfeiture of $227 million to the U.S. Department of Justice and to pay a $100 million penalty to the Federal Reserve Board for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by engaging in what is being deemed illegal transactions with a number of sanctioned entities, according to a press release issued on Dec. 11 by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
SAN FRANCISCO - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Howrey LLP on Dec. 7 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California to disqualify its former co-counsel and his firm from bringing a putative class action against 302 of Howrey's partners (In Re: Howrey LLP, No. 11-31376, Chapter 11, N.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt energy company Dynegy Holdings LLC on Dec. 10 filed a notice that it had received successful bids for the sale of two of its power plants for a combined total of $23 million (In Re: Dynegy Holdings LLC, No. 11-38111, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 6 dismissed a suit in which a consumer alleged violations of the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) and the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, finding that she failed to state a claim under the FCRA and that the Song-Beverly Act claims are preempted by the FCRA (Wendy Ellen Fleischmann v. Care Credit, et al., No. 12-08032, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174110).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Dec. 10 dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a suit in a which a consumer sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for the failed Charter National Bank and Trust, and Barrington Bank and Trust Co., which acquired the assets of Charter, to recover funds from his money market account (Baldev Raj Bhutani v. Barrington Bank and Trust, et al., No. 12-05320, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174224).
DALLAS - Fastbucks Holding Corp., a provider of payday loans and other forms of "fast cash," on Dec. 10 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, listing debts between $10 million and $50 million (In Re: Fastbucks Holding Corporation, No. 12-37793, Chapter 11, N.D. Texas Bkcy.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Dismissal of a consumer's complaint against his creditor and a debt collector working on behalf of the creditor for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is not proper pursuant to the "language of the statute and the authority interpreting the TCPA," a federal judge in Florida ruled Dec. 7 (Frank Manfred II v. Bennett Law PLLC, et al., No. 12-61548, S.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173935).
BUTTE, Mont. - A federal bankruptcy judge in Montana on Dec. 5 ruled that the founder of the bankrupt Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC (YMC), Timothy L. Blixseth, had to pay the liquidating trustee more than $40.99 million related to fraudulent conveyances Blixseth made before YMC's bankruptcy filing (Timothy L. Blixseth v. Marc S. Kirschner [Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC], 08-61570-11, Adv. No. 09-00014, Chapter 11, D. Mont. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Dec. 7 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for a protective order against a notice of deposition filed by the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of alternative energy company A123 Systems Inc. (In Re: A123 Systems Inc., No. 12-12859, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against The Coca-Cola Co. involving the marketing and advertising of pomegranate-flavored juice remain in federal court after a judge granted reconsideration Dec. 7 and reversed a ruling finding state courts better equipped to handle the case (Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Co., et al., No. 08-06237, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Thirty-nine federal personal injury cases representing more than 1,000 plaintiffs who claim that they suffered bone injuries from the prescription heartburn drug Nexium were centralized Dec. 6 before Judge Dale S. Fischer in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (In Re: Nexium [Esomeprazole] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2404, JPMDL).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man's California unfair competition law (UCL) claims based on allegedly deceptive advertising of white chocolate baking chips proceeds, but insufficiently similar advertising across products lines bars claims for products he never purchased, a federal judge held Dec. 7 (Scott Miller, et al. v. Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., and DOES 1 through 50, No. 12-04936, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174008).