NEW YORK - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company and certain of its current and former executive officers failed to plead any material misrepresentation or omissions or scienter to support his federal securities law claim that the defendants concealed that the company's former CEO neglected his responsibilities to the company while secretly exercising control over another company that did significant business with the energy company, a federal judge in New York ruled Jan. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Jeffrey Fries v. Northern Oil & Gas Inc., et al., No. 16-6543, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5307).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a California natural plant company's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and fraud against a group of companies and their officer in relation to a distribution agreement arose directly under an underlying contract, a California federal judge on Jan. 8 compelled the claims against one business entity to arbitration in Hong Kong (Everest Biosynthesis Group LLC, dba Natural Plant Extracts v. Biosynthesis Pharma Group Limited, et al., No. 17cv1466, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3258).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on Dec. 6 held that underlying claims against an attorney and his law firm can be rationally said to fall within coverage of a professional liability insurance policy, rejecting the insureds' argument that coverage is barred by the policy's' business enterprise exclusion (Bruce A. Wiley, et al. v. Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-144, Ill. App., 5th Dist.).
NEW BERN, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 9 determined that California law should be applied to a dispute over coverage for water damages because the policy at issue was issued in California and the insured's principal place of business is in California (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London v. American Realty Advisors, et al., Nos. 16-940, 17-74, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185842).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 7 upheld convictions of a man and his son who were accused of health care fraud and paying kickbacks to obtain business for their partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), ruling that evidence presented by the government was sufficient to support the jury's verdict (United States of America v. Earnest Gibson III, et al., No. 15-20323, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22261).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 6 granted summary judgment for a small business lender, finding that it did not violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws when it sent various small business owners "junk faxes" (David Meyer, et al. v. Capital Alliance Group, et al., No. 15-CV-2405, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183690).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 13 sentenced a woman to one year and one day in prison and ordered her to pay $536,724 in restitution after she pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for misappropriating Medicaid funds received by a pediatric clinic where she worked for her to pay off unauthorized charges on a business credit card (United States of America v. Monica Sylvest, No. 17cr24, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 25 partially granted a gift company's motion to dismiss a software solutions and support company's claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing but also dismissed a counterclaim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the gift company failed to show that consumers were injured by an allegedly unlawful business practice committed by the software firm (Pierry Inc. v. Thirty-One Gifts, LLC, No. 17-cv-03074, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156681).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A manufacturer of water and drainage pipes and various precast products, and certain of its executive officers and directors issued misrepresentations in Securities and Exchange Commission documents for an initial public offering (IPO) regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, a shareholder argues in an Aug. 23 securities class action complaint filed in New York federal court (Matthew Spindler v. Forterra Inc., et al., No. 17-4978, E.D. N.Y.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Because a Pennsylvania borough's mayor's public Facebook page was created and maintained in connection with the municipality's official business, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records (OOR) on Aug. 16 determined that posts and messages connected with the page are public records and subject to disclosure under the state's Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) (Noel Purdy v. Chambersburg, No. AP 2017-1229, Pa. Ofc. Open Rec.).
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 24 preliminarily approved a $97.5 million settlement on claims that retailer JCPenney Co. Inc. and certain of its executive officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws and scheduled a settlement hearing for Nov. 29 (Alan B. Marcus v. JCPenney Company Inc., et al., No. 13-0736, E.D. Texas).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a restaurant chain, certain of its senior officers and others have properly shown that the defendants issued actionable misstatements and omissions regarding the business and financial condition of the company in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 4 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Daniel Turocy v. El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1343, C.D. Calif.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a 3D printer manufacturer and certain of its executive officers have failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations in claiming that the defendants violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business prospects, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 25 in affirming a federal district court's ruling dismissing the suit (In re Stratasys Ltd. Shareholder Securities Litigation, No. 16-3264, 8th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13370).
SAN FRANCISCO - In granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss, a federal judge in California on May 17 held that a pension fund has cured its pleading deficiencies and properly shown that a semiconductor producer and its CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting the company's key business metrics as required under federal securities laws (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75262).
TYLER, Texas - Shareholders and defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against retailer JCPenney Co. Inc. and certain of its executive officers have provisionally agreed to a $97.5 million settlement on claims that the defendants misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a joint motion to stay all deadlines and notice of settlement filed May 5 in a Texas federal court (Alan B. Marcus v. JCPenney Company Inc., et al., No. 13-0736, E.D. Texas).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A shareholder has shown that defendants in a securities class action lawsuit acted with deliberate recklessness in misrepresenting a company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled May 1 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re Finisar Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1252, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66229).
TYLER, Texas - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit on April 27 in Texas federal court, alleging that an operator of a network of free-standing emergency rooms and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors misrepresented the company's business condition in violation of federal securities laws (Sascha Troll v. Adeptus Health Inc., No. 17-0241, E.D. Texas).