LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Lead Plaintiff Failed To Plead Scienter In Securities Class Action, Judge Rules

NEW YORK - In a ruling made available on Feb. 26, a federal judge in New York dismissed federal securities law claims against an auditor for a Chinese company, ruling that claims that the auditor engaged in an illegal reverse merger scheme failed because the lead plaintiff did not properly plead scienter (Bhushan Athale v. SinoTech Energy Limited, et al., No. 11-5831, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22996).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Says Court Should Allow It To Amend Merger Case Against Bankrupt AMR

NEW YORK - Carolyn Fjord, who represents a class of plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Feb. 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that she should be permitted to file an amended complaint (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. [In Re: AMR Corporation], No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Says Court Should Allow It To Amend Merger Case Against Bankrupt AMR

NEW YORK - Carolyn Fjord, who represents a class of plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Feb. 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that she should be permitted to file an amended complaint (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. [In Re: AMR Corporation], No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Class Says Court Should Allow It To Amend Merger Case Against Bankrupt AMR

NEW YORK - Carolyn Fjord, who represents a class of plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Feb. 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that she should be permitted to file an amended complaint (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. [In Re: AMR Corporation], No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Declines To Order Divestiture In Southwest/AirTran Merger

SAN FRANCISCO - Direct purchasers of airline tickets who alleged that the merger between Southwest Airlines Co. and AirTran Holdings Inc. violated antitrust law are not entitled to a divestiture order, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 4 in an unpublished opinion (Wayne Taleff, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co., et al., No. 11-17995, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2121).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Bank Settles Claims That It Breached Its Fiduciary Duty As Part Of Merger Deal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A community bank and one of its shareholders agreed on Feb. 4 to settle claims filed in Virginia federal court that the bank and others breached their fiduciary duty in negotiating a merger deal with another community bank in violation of federal securities law (Jacklyn Crescente v. StellarOne Corp., et al., No. 10-0021, W.D. Va.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Hospital System's Acquisition Of Physician Group Must Be Undone, Federal Judge Rules

BOISE, Idaho - A federal judge in Idaho on Jan. 24 ordered the divestiture of a consummated merger between Idaho's largest health system and the state's largest independent, multispecialty physician group, finding that the acquisition was anticompetitive (Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa, Inc., et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., No. 12-560, D. Idaho; Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., et al., No. 13-116, D. Idaho; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9264).

Mealey's Health Law - Hospital System's Acquisition Of Physician Group Must Be Undone, Federal Judge Rules

BOISE, Idaho - A federal judge in Idaho on Jan. 24 ordered the divestiture of a consummated merger between Idaho's largest health system and the state's largest independent, multispecialty physician group, finding that the acquisition was anticompetitive (Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa, Inc., et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., No. 12-560, D. Idaho; Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., et al., No. 13-116, D. Idaho; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9264).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Hospital System's Acquisition Of Physician Group Must Be Undone, Federal Judge Rules

BOISE, Idaho - A federal judge in Idaho on Jan. 24 ordered the divestiture of a consummated merger between Idaho's largest health system and the state's largest independent, multispecialty physician group, finding that the acquisition was anti-competitive (Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa, Inc., et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., No. 12-560, D. Idaho; Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., et al., No. 13-116, D. Idaho; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9264).

9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Challenge To United, Continental Merger

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to estop United Airlines and Continental Airlines from opposing airline ticket purchasers' national market definition, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 16 in an unpublished opinion affirming the dismissal of the purchasers' complaint challenging the airlines' merger under Section 7 of the Clayton Act (Michael Malaney, et al. v. UAL Corporation, et al., No. 12-15182, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. 880).

Federal Judge Dismisses Engineering Defects Case After Settlement Is Reached

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Jan. 10 filed an order dismissing a case involving an engineering firm that allegedly was negligent and breached express and implied warranties when designing precast panels for use in the construction of an ultraviolet water disinfection facility in Valhalla, N.Y., after being informed that an undisclosed settlement was reached (JPC Merger Sub LLC v. Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc., No. 12-2825, D. N.J.).

Judge Certifies Class In Securities Suit Against Gas And Oil Company

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Jan. 6 certified a class of investors in a securities class action lawsuit against a natural gas and oil company alleged to have issued misrepresentations in proxy statements used as part of a series of mergers in violation of federal securities laws, ruling that the investors have met all statutory requirements for class certification (Jeffrey Schulein, et al. v. Petroleum Development Corp., et al., No. 11-1891, C.D. Calif.).

Judge Says CVS Shareholders Properly Pleaded Material Misrepresentation, Scienter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit challenging the merger that brought CVS Caremark Corp. together is not warranted because the shareholders have properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Rhode Island ruled Dec. 31 (City of Brockton Retirement System, et al. v. CVS Caremark Corp., et al., No. 09-554, D. Rhode Island; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181627).

Class Opposed To Merger Of American, US Airways Appeals, Says Evidence Not Considered

NEW YORK - The class plaintiffs who opposed the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. by filing an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., on Dec. 19 filed a designation of appeal contending that evidence presented in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was not considered (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Federal Judge Certifies Class Of Health Care Purchasers In Hospital Merger Case

CHICAGO - End payers who purchased inpatient and outpatient health care services directly from NorthShore University HealthSystem and alleged that NorthShore illegally monopolized the market for such services following the merger of hospitals demonstrated that class adjudication of the antitrust claims was superior, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 10 in granting the purchasers' motion for class certification (In re: Evanston Northwestern Corporation Antitrust Litigation, No. 07-cv-04446, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173794).

U.S. High Court Denies Stay Of American Airlines Merger With US Airways

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Dec. 8 denied an emergency application by individual airline customers seeking to prevent the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. The customers had argued that the merger violates federal antitrust laws (Carolyn Fjord v. AMR Corporation, No.13A579, U.S. Sup.).

Airline Customers: American Airlines Merger Approval Should Be Stayed For Appeal

NEW YORK - The class action plaintiffs that sued bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that the Bankruptcy Court should stay its decision approving the merger of American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. pending appeal (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), no. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Approves DOJ, American Airlines Settlement Ending Merger Lawsuit

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

3 Unions Ask Bankruptcy Court To Approve American Airlines, DOJ Settlement

NEW YORK - The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and two other unions representing workers in the airline industry on Nov. 21 filed a statement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York supporting the settlement agreement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. that would resolve antitrust objections to the proposed merger of the two airlines (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

High Court Denies Challenge To Judge's Practice In Appointing Class Counsel

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov.18 denied a petition for review filed by a class member who objected to the settlement of a class suit accusing Sirius XM Radio Inc. of antitrust violations in connection with the 2008 merger of the only two providers of satellite radio, and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. commented that a judge's requirement that class counsel reflect the class as to race and gender may warrant "future review" (Nicholas Martin v. Carl Blessing, et al., No. 13-169, U.S. Sup.).

AMR Corp. Announces Deal With DOJ, Says It Hopes To Complete Merger In December

FORT WORTH, Texas - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 12 announced through its website that it had settled the anti-trust litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) such that American Airlines will be able to merge with US Airways Group Inc. The DOJ had contended that the merger, which was a main component of American Airlines' Chapter 11 reorganization plan, violated federal law (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

Virgin America Airways Says US Airways, American Merger Should Be Blocked

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal judge presiding over the antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. on Nov. 12 granted Virgin America Airways the right to file an amicus curiae brief in which Virgin says it intends to argue that "unless this merger is blocked, a simple fix for a few large airports will leave most of the hub-hub routes as monopoly markets" (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

DOJ To Drop Antitrust Case If US Airways, American Give Slots To Low-Cost Carriers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Nov. 12 proposed a final judgment with US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. under which the DOJ would drop its merger antitrust lawsuit against the airlines if they divest slots and gates at key constrained airports across the country to low-cost carrier airlines (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

Class Seeks OK To File Amicus Brief In DOJ's Antitrust Case Against Airline Merger

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The class suing US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 4 moved for permission to intervene in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against the airlines by filing an amicus curiae brief (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

6 Chambers Of Commerce: Merger Of US Airways, American Airlines Should Be Allowed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six chambers of commerce on Oct. 29 moved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for permission to file amicus curiae briefs in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. related to the proposed merger of the two airlines. The chambers of commerce contend that their respective communities will benefit from the proposed merger (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).