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).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A consumer has failed to show that DISH Network LLC willfully or negligently violated provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because he has not shown that the company improperly used or acquired his credit report, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Nov. 1 (Gregory Bickley v. DISH Network LLC, et al., No. 10-0678, W.D. Ky.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157485).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 declined to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion affirming the dismissal of allegations of cable and satellite television subscribers that television programmers and distributors violated federal antitrust law by bundling channels because the subscribers failed to sufficiently allege injury to competition, as opposed to injury to consumers (Rob Brantley, et al. v. NBC Universal, Inc., et al., No. 12-171, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 denied a petition for writ of certiorari asking for review of the dismissal of a class action complaint alleging that a collection agency's dunning letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq. (Misty M. Zemeckis v. Global Credit & Collection Corp., No. 12-397, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An ice cream distributor cannot recover restitution under the California unfair competition law (UCL) for sales it lost to an ice cream manufacturer who began distributing its own product, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 1 (Ice Cream Distributors of Evansville LLC v. Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc., et al., No. 10-17257, U.S. App., 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22558).
WILMINGTON, Del - Directors and officers of a corporation accused of breaches of fiduciary duty regarding the alleged overcompensation of the company's chief executive officer told a Delaware court on Nov. 2 that a shareholder derivative suit should be dismissed because the shareholder failed to plead demand futility with requisite particularity (Milton Pfeiffer, Derivatively on Behalf of Healthways, Inc. v. Ben Leedle, Jr., et al., No. 7831-VCP, Del. Chanc.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt AFA Investment Inc., the maker of the so-called pink slime ground beef additive, on Oct. 31 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to a motion by certain claimants who seek an order converting the case to Chapter 7 bankruptcy (In Re: AFA Investment Inc., No. 12-11127, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - Former megachurch pastor Robert H. Schuller seeks $5 million in damages from bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the church he used to lead, related to claims for breach of contract and copyright infringement that are set for trial in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California on Nov. 7 (In Re: Crystal Cathedral Ministries, No. 12-15665, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the complaint available within the full article.
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Hostess Brands Inc. on Nov. 1 approved settlement agreements between Hostess and some of its unions that will help pave the way for Hostess to reorganize (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - In an opinion made available on Nov. 1, a federal judge in New York ruled that although an investor may file an amended complaint in a securities lawsuit against a feeder fund of Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, dismissal of the negligence and fraud-based claims is proper because the investor failed to correct deficiencies in the claims (Pasha Anwar, et al. v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., et al. No. 09-0118; [Joaquina Teresa Barbachano Herrero v. Standard Chartered Bank International (Americas) Ltd., et al.,] S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155470). A complimentary copy of the order is available in the pdf attached below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on Oct. 31 reversed a judgment in favor of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) in a foreclosure action after finding that it lacked standing to bring the suit (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation v. Duane Schwartzwald, et al., Nos. 2011-1201, 2011-1362, Ohio Sup.).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 1 dismissed the remaining federal securities law claim brought against former director of corporate accounting for Diebold Inc. Sandra K. Miller, granting a joint motion filed by Miller and the lead plaintiff in the securities class action (Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System v. KPMG LLP, et al., No. 10-1461, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124082).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 1 affirmed a Florida federal judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to a mortgage company after finding that a disclaimer in a sales contract for a parcel of land precluded plaintiffs from relying on representations the company allegedly made about the property's value (G. Barrett LLC, f/k/a Barrett and Gilbert LLC, et al. v. The Ginn Company, et al., No. 12-10517, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22422).
CLEVELAND - Dismissal of a consumer's state and federal debt collection law claims is proper because the consumer failed to bring the claims within the proper statute of limitations periods, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Oct. 30 in dismissing the consumer's complaint (Paul Popov v. Litton Loan Servicing LP, et al., No. 12-169, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155471).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 30 found that a group of homeowners' claims that their mortgagee improperly forced them to maintain excessive flood insurance coverage failed because both the respective deeds of trust and federal law permit a lender to require flood insurance equal to the replacement cost value (RCV) of a home (Clifford McKenzie, et al. v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., No. 3:11-cv-04965, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155480).
NEW YORK - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Eastman Kodak Co. on Oct. 31 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for authority to prosecute and settle avoidance claims against the second-lien parties (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A company's directors and officers argued in a Florida federal court on Oct. 31 that shareholders have failed to show that the directors and officers have made any public statements that are violations of their fiduciary duty to shareholders (Todd Deehl, Derivatively on Behalf of Mako Surgical Corporation, v. Maurice R. Ferre, et al., No. 12-cv-61238, S.D. Fla.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Vertis Holdings Inc. on Nov. 1 approved $150 million in post-petition financing that may pave the way for the company to continue operating and search for a stalking horse bidder (In Re: Vertis Holdings Inc., No. 12-12821, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
NEW YORK - Bankrupt commercial real estate company Grubb & Ellis Co. on Oct. 31 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that a former agent with the company is not entitled to file a claim for a commission he earned after the company filed its bankruptcy petition (In Re: Grubb & Ellis Company, No. 12-10685, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. (RIEDC) on Nov. 1 sued former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling and a group of companies in Rhode Island state court in relation to Schilling's failed business venture, which filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation v. Wells Fargo Securities, et al., No. N/A, R.I. Super., Providence Co.). Subscribers may view the complaint available within the full article.
HOUSTON - Staying discovery in a securities lawsuit filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. against Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is proper because no motion to dismiss is pending, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 30 (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as receiver for Franklin Bank S.S.B., v. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, f/k/a Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., No. 12-1777, S.D. Texas). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15759.
CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 30 reversed a ruling by a district court and held that a debtor's lawsuit related to a traffic accident that occurred prior to his filing for bankruptcy was not barred by judicial estoppel because his failure to include the action in his list of assets was inadvertent (Michael Stephenson v. Matthew Malloy, No. 11-1671, Chapter 7, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22349).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 29 ruled that a bankruptcy court properly confirmed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan and that it was not an indication of bad faith on the debtors' part that they did not use their monthly Social Security income to pay their creditors (S.J. Beaulieu Jr. v. Benjamin Ragos, et al. [In the Matter of: Benjamin Ragos], No. 11-31046, Chapter 13, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22334).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 30 granted Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.'s motion to dismiss a suit in which a borrower sought to nullify a mortgage that was assigned to Deutsche Bank after the failure of the bank that originally issued the loan, ruling that the borrower does not have standing to challenge the assignment of the mortgage (Paul Popov v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 12-00170, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155498).