CHICAGO - A district court correctly certified a class of bankers employed by PNC Bank who allege that time they spent working outside of their normal business hours went uncompensated, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 31 (Mariseli Gomez Bell v. PNC Bank, National Association, No. 14-3018, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15403).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a motion for class certification in a suit alleging that administrative and management fees charged by a retirement plan provider are excessive because the requirement of predominance is not satisfied as there are numerous individual questions that would have to be answered based on a plan-by-plan analysis (Jaclyn Santomenno et al. V. Transamerica Life Insurance Co. et al., No. 12-02782, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114829).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a motion to dismiss after determining that a retirement plan participant sufficiently alleged claims for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Nancy Murray v. Invacare Corp. et al., No. 13-1882, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114657).
CINCINNATI - A plan beneficiary seeking coverage under an accidental death or dismemberment plan suffered a "permanent" loss because pursuant to the plan's language, a foot injury that lasted more than 12 consecutive months was permanent, the majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 28 (Steve Stockman v. GE Life Disability and Medical Plan et al., No. 13-4450, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15305).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 26 dismissed a third-party claim filed against an employer for breach of the doctrine of promissory estoppel for failing to pay a health benefits claim because the employee's claim is one for wrongful denial of health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which cannot be supported because the employee breached his obligations under the plan (Olmstead Medical Center v. Ronald L. Carter et al., No. 14-2916, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112758).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Boeing Co. and participants in its 401(k) plan reached a provisional settlement on claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act related to excessive fees, ending nine years of litigation and canceling the bench trial that was set to begin Aug. 26 (Gary Spano, et al. v. The Boeing Company, et al., No. 06-743, S.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - A suit filed by a former employee of Xerox Corp. was properly dismissed because the employee signed an agreement relinquishing all claims, including any related to his distribution or calculation of pension benefits, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 26 (Herbert E. Anderson v. Xerox Corp. et al., No. 14-2849, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15048).
PHILADELPHIA - A plan administrator's failure to notify a claimant in its denial letter of the health plan's one-year limitations period for filing suit is a violation of the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and as a result, New Jersey's six-year limitations period must be applied to the claimant's suit, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 26 in vacating a District Court's finding that the claimant's suit was time-barred (Dr. Neville M. Mirza M.D. et al. v. Insurance Administrator of America Inc. et al., No. 13-3535, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15068).
ROCK HILL, S.C. - South Carolina Supreme Court guidance indicates that the workers' compensation statute acts as a statute of repose, eliminating claims forming the basis of a putative class action over the allegedly improperly handling asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a federal judge affirmed Aug. 27 (Odell Parker, et al. v. Asbestos Processing LLC, et al., No. 11-1800, D. S.C., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113574).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 25 stayed a class action filed against a security company in which an employee asserts claims over hours and wages and violations of the California unfair competition law pending the outcome of a similar class action filed against the company (Ernie Ricardo Fernandez v. Brink's Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-02667, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112676).
DALLAS - A plaintiff sufficiently alleged facts in her complaint to support a claim for promissory estoppel but is precluded from asserting a breach of fiduciary duty claim because she has alleged a claim for wrongful denial of benefits, a Texas federal judge said Aug. 25 (Susan M. Repass v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan, et al., No. 14-2686, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111971).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A sharply divided National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Aug. 27 redefined and expanded its standard for assessing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, and FPR-II, LLC, d/b/a Leadpoint Business Services, and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 350, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, No. 32-RC-109684, NLRB).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Aug. 24 granted a motion to decertify a conditional class of hourly restaurant workers seeking wages for the time they allegedly spent working when restaurants stayed open past their posted hours; however, two days later, the employer moved for clarification, arguing that the lone plaintiff left could not proceed with his own claims without refiling an individual Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) action (Jose Garcia, et al. v. SAR Foods of Ohio, Inc., No. 14-1514, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111677).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 affirmed that a retirement plan participant's breach of fiduciary duty suit is time-barred under the applicable three-year statute of limitations and said that the evidence shows the participant had actual knowledge of the alleged breach more than three years before filing suit (Ramnand Ramnaraine v. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. et al., No. 14-3562, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14929).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge properly found that a subrogation provision in a health benefits plan clearly established the plan's right to recoup medical expenses paid on a defendant's behalf, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 25 (Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry v. Kyle J. Moore, No. 14-4048, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14945).
NEWARK, N.J. - A group of lease accountants presented sufficient evidence to make a "modest factual showing" that they were similarly situated and should be granted conditional certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 21, rejecting the employers' arguments to the contrary (Paula Robles, et al. v. Vornado Realty Trust, et al., No. 15-1406, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111038).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 21 preliminarily approved a $500,000 settlement in a wage-and-hour suit brought on behalf of a class of financial sales advisers, opining that while the amount is less than 11 percent of the total potential liability estimate given by the plaintiffs, the court's concerns may be addressed later (Cheryl Deaver v. Compass Bank, et al., No. 13-222, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111170).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
ST. LOUIS - A defendant on Aug. 24 won dismissal by a Missouri federal judge of a request for an order requiring her to repay more than $1.3 million in allegedly erroneously issued pension payments, but she must still face claims for restitution and unjust enrichment under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Pharmacia Corporation Supplemental Pension Plan et al. v. Virginia V. Weldon, No. 14-1498, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111544).
NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).
SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate panel held Aug. 24 (John M. Kalahar and Peggy L. Kalahar v. Alcoa Inc., No. 72635-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's determination that the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) lacks associational standing to sue a claims administrator for violations of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act was reversed by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 (New York State Psychiatric Association Inc., et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 14-20, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14641).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) extension of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime coverage to workers employed by third-party agencies who provide in home care and companionship services, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Home Care Association of America, et al. v. David Weil, et al., No. 15-5018, D.C. Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri power plant failed to show that it was the statutory employer of a repairman and thus entitled to the protection of the workers' compensation exclusivity after the worker was injured while performing a repair, a Missouri appellate panel ruled Aug. 18, reversing a trial court's decision (James E. Eaker v. Kansas City Power & Light Company, No. WD77851, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 822).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).