GREELEY, Colo. - The district attorney in Weld County, Colo., on Oct. 25 announced that he has begun a criminal investigation into bankrupt alternative energy company Abound Solar Manufacturing LLC regarding the possibility that the company may have committed securities fraud based on allegations that officials at Abound Solar knew that products the company was selling were defective but then asked investors to invest in the company without telling them about the defective products.
RICHMOND, Va. - Two price-fixing complaints filed by the State of South Carolina on behalf of state residents against manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels may not be removed from state court and heard in federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 USCS § 1711, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 25 (AU Optronics Corporation, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 11-254, LG Display Co., Ltd, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 11-255, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22200). A complimentary copy of the opinion is available in the pdf attached below.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 29 agreed to hear a case to determine whether a defalcation was committed by a debtor who, prior to filing for bankruptcy, had been appointed the trustee of his father's life insurance trust and took out three loans from the trust he managed (Randy Curtis Bullock v. BankChampaign, No. 11-1518, Chapter 7, U.S. Sup.).
Follow this link to view a complimentary copy of the complete Mealey's article.
SCRANTON, Pa. - There is a genuine dispute of material fact regarding the fee notice on an ATM, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Oct. 25, denying a motion for summary judgment filed by the ATM operator, which was sued for allegedly violating the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1601, (Gerald Reviello v. Bluhm's Gas Sales Inc., et al., No. 12-00312, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153692).
ATHENS, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Oct. 24 denied a consumer's third motion to set aside a judgment in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq., lawsuit, ruling that the consumer has failed to provide any arguments showing why the motion should be granted (Adolfus O'Bryan Giles v. Phoenix Recovery Group Inc., as assignee of Sears National Bank, et al., No. 12-65, M.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152510).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 25 dismissed a suit in which a former Temple University student alleges that the university violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1681, and negatively affected his credit score due to its improper reporting of his student loan account to credit agencies, explaining that the Higher Education Act (HEA) creates an exception to the FCRA's limitations period (Edward M. Seamans v. Temple University, No.1-06774, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153899).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Oct. 26 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a motion by creditor Fifth Third Bank, which seeks to prevent an asset sale while the law firm maintains that the bank has had plenty of time to identify its property and should not be permitted to delay the law firm's sale of nonessential property (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of A123 Systems Inc. on Oct. 26 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to the debtor's plan to sell assets and entertain stalking horse bids (In Re: A123 Systems Inc., No. 12-12859, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - The court-appointed receiver for Stanford International Bank Ltd (SIB) and related companies may stand in the shoes of creditors in seeking to recover nearly $1.6 million in political contributions made to a number of political committees by the Stanford defendants, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 23 (Ralph S. Janvey, as Court-Appointed Receiver for the Stanford International Bank Ltd., et al., No. 11-10704, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22058).
ATLANTA - A bank waived its right to compel arbitration when it decided to decline two invitations by a Florida federal court to move to compel arbitration in five putative class suits brought by the bank's customers, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 26 (Melanie Garcia, et al. v. Wachovia Corporation, et al., No. 11-16029, 11th Cir.). View related prior history, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145034.
LAS VEGAS - Family Dollar Inc. is not the "operator" of an ATM as defined by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1601, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Oct. 25, granting Family Dollar's motion for summary judgment in a putative class action alleging that Family Dollar violated the statute because there were no written fee notices on the ATM in question (Thomas Chayra v. Family Dollar Inc., No. 11-01710, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153337).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 23 ruled that it will not reconsider its decision that a consumer who alleged that a New York City provider of electricity-generating capacity violated antitrust laws by engaging in a swap transaction lacks antitrust standing because he was an indirect purchaser and that his claims are otherwise barred by the filed-rate doctrine (Charles Simon v. KeySpan Corporation, et al., No. 11-2265, 2nd Cir.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19815.
TACOMA, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 24 dismissed with prejudice a suit in which a borrower asserts breach of contract, predatory lending and other claims against Union Bank N.A., which acquired his loans from Frontier Bank after Frontier Bank's failure, because the agreements on which the borrower bases his claims are not in writing (Robert Kanany v. Union Bank N.A., No.11-06062, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152941).
Federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on Oct. 23 divided over whether to grant pharmaceutical manufacturers' motions to stay cases involving reverse-payment settlements between holders of a drug patent and generic manufacturers of the those drugs pending the U.S. Supreme Court's deciding whether it will hear an appeal of a similar case (In re Effexor XR Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 11-5479, 11-5661, 11-7504, 11-6985, 11-3523, 11-3116, 11-5590, D. N.J.; In re Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-995, D. N.J.; In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2332, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Oct. 25 granted a pension fund's motion for class certification in a securities class action against a medical device maker and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the pension fund has properly met all statutory requirements for establishing the class (In re St. Jude Medical Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 10-0851, D. Minn.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A company argues in an Oct. 25 filing in a New York federal court that a shareholder derivative lawsuit brought against its directors and officers should be dismissed because the shareholders failed to show that 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.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 22 affirmed the dismissal of a Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1681, (FCRA) complaint, disagreeing with a consumer's argument that he properly alleged that a collection agency violated the statute by obtaining his credit report without his permission or a permissible purpose (Wayne Norman v. Northland Group Inc., No. 12-10057, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21987).
SAN FRANCISCO - A gas station's California unfair competition law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, action against a fuel nozzle company requires individualized inquiry into who saw representations, as well as who made them, a federal judge held Oct. 22 in denying class certification (Castro Valley Union 76 Inc. v. Vapor Systems Technologies Inc., No. 11-299, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151734).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 24 denied the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s request to compel JPMorgan Chase Bank (Chase) to produce privileged documents in Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.'s $10 billion suit alleging that Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) issued shoddy mortgages before it failed, citing attorney-client privilege (Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., 09-01656, D. D.C.) Subscribers may view the order available within the full Mealey's article.
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota couple's failure to sufficiently plead that they were harmed as a result of a BAC Home Loans Servicing LP representative's statement that a sheriff's sale on their home had been postponed pending a loan modification request was fatal to their lawsuit against Bank of America N.A. and its loan-servicing arm, a federal judge ruled Oct. 24 (Margaret E. Stumm, et al. v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. 11-3736, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152728).
SAN FRANCISCO - A homeowner's default on his mortgage, not any procedural errors in naming an authorized agent or the filing of default and foreclosure documents, caused his injury, a federal judge held Oct. 22 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, claims (John P. McGough v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 12-50, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151737).
NEW YORK - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta will serve two years in prison, followed by a year of supervised release, a federal judge in New York ruled Oct. 24 in sentencing Gupta for his role in an insider-trading scheme (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-cr-0907, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the sentencing memorandum and order available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware vice chancellor on Oct. 23 approved the settlement of a shareholder suit against a company and its directors and officers that was accomplished through certain supplemental disclosures regarding the sale of the company (Ronald M. Mitkowski, et al., v. Baldwin Technology Company, Inc., et al., No. 7157-VCN, Del. Chanc.).
NEW YORK - The U.S. government on Oct. 24 filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Bank of America Corp., as successor for Countrywide Financial Corp., alleging that Countrywide violated provisions of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C.S. § 3729-3733 by engaging in a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in connection with Countrywide's residential mortgage lending business (United States of America v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 12-1422, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 23 granted final approval to a $10.5 million settlement between direct and indirect purchasers and Aland (Jiangsu) Nutraceutical Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of vitamin C, on claims that the manufacturer participated in an illegal cartel with other Chinese corporations to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C, including those to the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation [All Cases], No. 06-MC-1738, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152275).