BUTTE, Mont. - A group of investors in the bankrupt Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC (YMC) on Nov. 6 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana to compel the enforcement of the automatic stay and for damages against YMC members who dispute a $26 million prepetition settlement in Montana state court (In Re: Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC, No. 08-61570, Chapter 11, D. Mont. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
NEW YORK - Investors on Nov. 6 asked a federal judge in New York to preliminarily approve a potential $80.25 million settlement of claims that defendants concealed that the investors' funds were being placed in accounts that were part of Bernard L. Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme (Pasha S. Anwar, et al. V. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., et al., No. 09-0118, S.D. N.Y.).
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SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Nov. 5 ordered arbitration in a putative class action in which a consumer alleged that companies violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C.S. § 227, by auto-dialing consumers' cell phones without their consent, disagreeing with the consumer's contention that the companies waived their right to arbitration (Patrick McNamara v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, et al., No. 11-2137, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 2 ruled that a collection agency may file an interlocutory appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a ruling on what constitutes "prior express consent" under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C.S. § 227, before any class certification ruling in a consumer's lawsuit, saying the appellate panel's ruling may expedite the case (Melissa Thrasher-Lyon, et al. v. CCS Commercial LLC, d.b.a. Credit Collection Services Commercial, No. 11-4473, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157230).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 5 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by the New York branch of German bank Bayerische Landesbank, ruling that the bank has standing to bring its state and federal securities law claims and that, at this point, dismissal under the Supreme Court's ruling in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. is not warranted (Bayerische Landesbank, New York Branch, v. Barclays Capital Inc., et al., No. 12-3294, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 5 awarded an $850,000 judgment to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) against the founder of a mortgage company in a constructive fraud suit in which Fannie Mae accused the lender of lying in a $44 million scheme to continue collecting Fannie Mae payments after borrowers had paid off their loans (Federal National Mortgage Association v. Olympia Mortgage Corp., et al., No. 04-4971, E.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
NEW YORK - Ten of the 19 named plaintiffs and other merchants and trade associations on Nov. 2 filed objections to the $7.25 billion class action settlement with 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 [All Cases], No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opposition available within the full article.
NEW YORK - Bankrupt pharmaceutical maker Quigley Co. Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., on Nov. 5 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for an extension of the voting deadline to approve its reorganization plan until the end of the month (In Re: Quigley Company Inc., No. 04-15739, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 6 dismissed a lawsuit brought by bankrupt American Airlines Inc. against the National Mediation Board (NMB), ruling that based on instructions from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the district court lacked jurisdiction in the matter (American Airlines Inc. v. National Mediation Board, No. 12-276, Chapter 11, N.D. Texas). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
NEW YORK - The U.S. government on Nov. 6 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to bankrupt Residential Capital LLC's motion seeking to sell its assets (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
PHILADELPHIA - In a suit in which a borrower alleges a "foreclosure rescue scam," a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 2 granted the motion for summary judgment filed by OneWest Bank FSB, which assumed a loan in question when it acquired the assets of the failed IndyMac Mortgage Services (IndyMac), ruling that the borrower's allegations do not relate to any actions taken by OneWest and are therefore subject to The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C.S. § 1821, mandatory receivership claims process (Shakiela Clark v. El Jeffre Blackfoot-Bey, et al., No. 10-2683, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A shareholder plaintiff and a pharmaceutical company on Nov. 5 debated in front of the U.S. Supreme Court whether a securities lawsuit may proceed as a class action even if the plaintiff is unable to plead materiality (Amgen Inc., Kevin W. Sharer, Richard D. Nanula, Roger M. Perlmutter and George J. Morrow v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, No. 11-1085, U.S. Sup.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In what he called an issue of first impression, a federal judge in West Virginia on Nov. 5 granted a shareholder's motion to remand a securities class action lawsuit to state court, ruling that the Securities Act of 1933 "only permits the removal of securities class actions alleging state law violations, as defined in" 15 U.S. Code Section 77p(b), "which must be dismissed whether they are before state or federal courts" (Olivia Niitsoo v. Alpha Natural Resources Inc., et al., No. 12-4377, S.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158049).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - American Suzuki Motor Corp., the distribution arm for Suzuki Motors in the United States, on Nov. 5 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, citing $346 million in liabilities and only $233 million in assets (In Re: American Suzuki Motor Corporation, No. 12-22808, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the petition available within the full article.
PITTSBURGH - A purchaser of flat glass that alleged that manufacturers engaged in price fixing in violation of federal antitrust laws presented evidence tending to exclude independent conduct sufficient to overcome the manufacturers' motion for summary judgment, even though the evidence was "weak," a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Nov. 1 (In re: Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation [II], No. 8-180 MDL No. 1942, W.D. Pa. [Jeld-Wen, Inc. v. AGC America, et al.,] No. 11-658, W.D. Pa.]; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156465).
DALLAS - Bankrupt Major League Baseball team the Texas Rangers on Nov. 2 moved in Texas state court to compel former owner Thomas O. Hicks to release information regarding his source of funding for certain transactions that the baseball club contend forced it into bankruptcy (Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, et al. v. Thomas O. Hicks, et al., No. 11-10069, 116th Texas Dist., Dallas Co.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt steel company WP Steel Venture on Nov. 2 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for approval of a deal to sell its West Virginia plant for $4.4 million (In Re: WP Steel Venture LLC, No. 12-11661, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
SAN DIEGO - Studies allegedly buttressing a woman's California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, claims investigated glucosamine's impact on specific disease symptoms, not the general benefits promised by the product she purchased, a federal judge held in dismissing the claims on Nov. 1 (Kay Eckler, et al. v. Wal-Mart Store Inc., No. 12-727, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157132).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 5 allowed most of a suit alleging that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) lied to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) about the quality of $33 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to proceed, ruling that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had adequately supported most of its claims (Federal Housing Finance Agency v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 11-6188, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
DAYTON, Ohio - A shareholder argued in an Ohio federal court on Nov. 5 that it is correct for him to bring his breach of fiduciary duty and other claims against a company's directors and officers directly and not derivatively (J. Robert Smith, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Robins & Myers, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-00281, S.D. Ohio). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 heard oral arguments on "[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis" (Comcast Corporation, et al. v. Caroline Behrend, et al., No. 11-864, U.S. Sup.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 2 adopted a federal magistrate judge's recommendation to dismiss a suit in which a borrower sought a declaration that JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (Chase) does not own certain Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) assets and an order enjoining Chase from collecting her loan payments (Michiko Stehrenberger v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, No. 12-00874, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157457).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Nov. 1 substantially dismissed a shareholder lawsuit against a bankrupt software company, several of its former officers and directors and others, ruling that the investors have failed to plead a majority of their state and federal securities law claims (Carl Anderson, et al. v. Gregory K. McGrath, et al., No. 11-1175, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156625).
CHICAGO - A debt collector's use of the statement "further financial liability" in a debt collection letter may improperly imply litigation, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Nov. 1 in denying the collector's motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq., lawsuit (William Crawford v. Vision Financial Corp., et al., No. 12-4397, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156461).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 2 partially affirmed and partially vacated damages awarded to two recording artists who claimed that they were owed royalties by a bankrupt record company (Maria Luisa G. Ramirez v. Lisa Nichols, No. 10-209806, Chapter 11, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22613).