LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Employer Ordered To Turn Over Employee Information In Wage Payment Class Suit

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A retail employer must turn over employee records to a class plaintiff alleging that her former employer violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) when it failed to pay her wages within 72 hours of her termination, a West Virginia federal judge ruled April 25 (Stephanie N. Paulino, et al. v. Dollar General Corporation, et al., No. 12-75, N.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59371).

Kodak Plans To Sell Imaging Businesses To Settle $2.8B In U.K. Pension Claims

NEW YORK - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on April 29 announced that it has reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP), its largest creditor, which will settle $2.8 billion in claims held by KPP against Kodak by transferring ownership of Kodak's personalized-imaging and document-imaging businesses to KPP (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No.12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Guarantor Must Pay Back Company's Loan, Federal Judge Rules

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on April 29 granted summary judgment to Branch Banking and Trust Co. (BB&T), which sued to recover on loans it acquired from a failed bank, finding that a guarantor "guaranteed that he would pay" a corporation's debt "in clear and unambiguous terms" (Branch Banking and Trust Co. v. Hamilton Greens LLC, et al., No.11-80507, S.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60675).

Supreme Court Won't Review Antitrust Case Involving Multiyear Contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 29 let stand a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals divided ruling that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to have concluded that a manufacturer violated federal antitrust law by entering into long-term conditional-rebate agreements (LTAs) with customers even though there was no showing of below-cost pricing (Eaton Corporation v. ZF Meritor LLC, et al., No. 12-1045, U.S. Sup.).

IBM Denied Summary Judgment In New York Copyright Case

NEW YORK - An effort by International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to obtain dismissal of breach of contract counterclaims was thwarted April 25 by a New York federal judge (International Business Machines Corporation v. BGC Partners Inc. et al., No. 10-128, S.D. N.Y.).

Vice Chancellor Denies Motion To Dismiss Shareholder Derivative Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware vice chancellor denied a company's directors' and officers' motion to dismiss a shareholder derivative lawsuit on April 25, finding that the shareholder had pleaded particularized facts that raise a reasonable doubt that the directors and officers acted in good faith in failing to respond to the shareholder's demand that the board of directors investigate an alleged weaknesses in the corporation's internal controls (George Rich, Jr., Derivatively on Behalf of Fuqi International, Inc., v. Yu Kwai Chong, et al., No. 7616-VCG, Del. Chanc.; 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 106).

Government Sues Novartis, This Time For Kickbacks To Doctors For 3 Drugs

NEW YORK - Questioning whether Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. is "getting the message," the New York U.S. attorney on April 26 filed his second False Claims Act complaint against the drug manufacturer in three days, this time alleging that the company paid kickbacks in the form of lavish "educational programs" to induce doctors to prescribe three of the company's drugs (United States of America, ex rel. Oswald Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, United States of America v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., MDL Docket No. 11-71, S.D. N.Y.).

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Equitable Mootness Doctrine Appeal By Debenture Trust

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 29 denied a petition for certiorari in which a debenture trust company argued that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals inappropriately applied the doctrine of equitable mootness in affirming a bankruptcy court's decision that overruled its objections to the reorganization plan of Charter Communications Inc. (Law Debenture Trust Co. v. Charter Communications Inc., No. 12-847, Chapter 11, U.S. Sup.).

AMR Says $3.25B In Financing Needed As It Tries To Exit Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

NEW YORK - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on April 25 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of its request for $3.25 billion in exit financing (In Re: AMR Corp., No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Kansas Federal Judge Grants Conditional Cert In TV Producers' Overtime Suit

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on April 23 conditionally certified a class of television producers seeking unpaid straight time and overtime compensation (Melissa Greenstein, et al. v. Meredith Corporation, No. 11-2399, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57861).

U.S. Trustee: Atari Bonuses Should Be Denied As 'Primarily Retentive'

NEW YORK - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of video game maker Atari Inc. on April 24 filed a brief objecting to the company's plan to pay bonuses to key employees on grounds that the benchmarks for determining whether those bonuses should be paid were not challenging enough (In Re: Atari Inc., No. 13-10176, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Federal Judge Upholds Benefit Denial Despite Faulty Administrative Claims Process

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A health insurance plan administrator's denial of benefits was not arbitrary and capricious, even though the administrator gave three different reasons for the denial at different times in the administrative process, because substantial evidence supported one of the three proffered reasons, a federal judge in Tennessee ruled April 23 (Joseph M. Morrison, et al. v. Regions Financial Corporation, et al., No. 10-2843, W.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57921).

Bankrupt Recycling Company Synagro Seeks Up To $2.64M In Employee Bonuses

WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Synagro Technologies Inc., which bills itself as the largest recycler of biosolids and organic residuals in the country, on April 25 moved in a bankruptcy court for approval of what could amount to more than $2.64 million in bonuses for executives and designated key employees (In Re: Synagro Technologies Inc., No. 13-11041, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Federal Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Association, Board Members

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its property owners association insured and members of the insured's board of directors against underlying claims that the members used their positions for self-dealing and to facilitate a takeover by a gaming corporation that sought to build a casino in or near a neighborhood that sustained damage from Hurricane Katrina, a Mississippi federal judge ruled April 23 (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Tom Anderson, et al., No. 1:11-CV-304-KS-JMR. S. D. Miss., Southern Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57837).

Bankrupt OSG Seeks Injunction Prohibiting Asbestos Claims;

WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) on April 25 filed a complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware seeking a ruling that lawsuits against the company related to asbestos exposure are stayed pending bankruptcy as per the automatic stay (In Re: Overseas Shipholding Group, No. 12-20000, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Company Seeks Stay Relief To Pursue $17.7M Patent Claim Against Bankrupt AMR Corp.

NEW YORK - A company that claims bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., is infringing on its patents by operating certain boarding pass and flight check-in systems, on April 24 moved for relief from the automatic stay to sue the airline for $17.7 million in damages related to alleged post-petition patent infringement (In Re: AMR Corp., No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

News Corp. Directors And Officers Settle Shareholder Dispute For $139 Million

WILMINGTON, Del. - Parties to a shareholder derivative suit against directors and officers of News Corp. informed a Delaware vice chancellor on April 22 that they had reached a $139 million settlement of their dispute (In re News Corporation Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 6285-VCN, Del. Chanc.).

Tribune Indenture Trustee Defends Fee Request Of More Than $6.1 Million

WILMINGTON, Del. - The Law Debenture Trust Company of New York (LDTCNY) on April 23 filed a brief contending that its request for fees and expenses related to the bankruptcy of media giant Tribune Co. is appropriate because LDTCNY made "substantial contributions" to the case (In Re: Tribune Company, No. 08-13141, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Ritz Camera Trustee Must Sell Asset To Higher Bidder, Says Buyer With $1.9M Offer

WILMINGTON, Del. - A potential buyer of one of bankrupt Ritz Camera & Image LLC's assets on April 22 filed a brief objecting to the Chapter 7 trustee's motion seeking authorization to sell the asset, a piece of real property, to a different purchaser for $100,000 less (In Re: Ritz Camera & Image LLC, No. 12-11868, Chapter 7, D. Del. Bkcy.).

'Girls Gone Wild' Trustee Sues Founder For Intimidating Employees, Violating Stay

LOS ANGELES - The Chapter 11 trustee in the bankruptcy of GGW Brands Inc., the parent company for the company that produces adult videos under the name "Girls Gone Wild," on April 23 sued GGW's founder seeking sanctions and damages for allegedly interfering with the trustee's attempts to conduct the bankruptcy (In Re: Todd Nielson v. Joseph Francis [In Re: GGW Brands Inc.], No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Ore. Federal Judge Says N.J. Punitives Law Applies In Zometa Jaw Injury Case

PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon woman who claims that Zometa caused her jaw injury cannot claim punitive damages against defendant Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. because they are prohibited by New Jersey state law, an Oregon federal judge ruled April 22 (Patricia Stromenger v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 3:12-686, D. Ore.).

United States Sues 'Repeat Offender' Novartis For Kickback Scheme, Medicare Costs

NEW YORK - Calling Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NPC) a "repeat offender," a U.S. attorney on April 23 filed a False Claims Act and kickback lawsuit in New York federal court, alleging that the company cost Medicare and Medicaid tens of millions of dollars by paying illegal kickbacks to about 20 pharmacies to switch kidney transplant patients from cheaper generic anti-rejection drugs to Novartis' Myfortic (United States of America v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 11-8196, S.D. N.Y.).

Committee In Rhythm And Hues Case Opposes $425,000 Break-Up Fee For Failed Bid

LOS ANGELES - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Rhythm And Hues Inc. (RAH), which provided the visual special effects for the film "Life of Pi," on April 22 filed a brief contending that a stalking horse bidder is not entitled to a $425,000 break-up fee (In Re: Rhythm And Hues Inc., No. 13-13775, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

11th Circuit: Trustee May Not Recover $536,686.91 Debtor Transferred To IRS

ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit on April 23 ruled that the Internal Revenue Service was entitled to the good faith defense regarding the prepetition transfer of $536,686.91 it received from a debtor company and, therefore, the trustee could not recover the money for the bankruptcy estate (Soneet R. Kapula v. Internal Revenue Service $(In Re: ATM Financial Services LLC$), No. 12-11690, Chapter 11, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8129).

Asbestos Claims Force Former Manufacturer Into Bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. - Yarway Corp., a former Pennsylvania company that manufactured pipe clamps, steam traps, valves and controls, filed for Chapter 11 protection April 22 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court due to thousands of asbestos personal injury claims combined with the depletion of insurance assets to pay the claims (In re: Yarway Corporation, No. 13-11025, D. Del. Bkcy.).