NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 23 granted five defendants' motion to dismiss claims against them in a second amended class action complaint against 12 banks and their affiliates under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries or "parties in interest" (Doris Sue Allen, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 1:15cv4285, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112407).
NEW ORLEANS - Following guidance from the Texas Supreme Court, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 22 affirmed a lower court's ruling that granted summary judgment in favor of The Golf Channel Inc. in a clawback lawsuit stemming from the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme, ruling that the Supreme Court's ruling clarified the "reasonably equivalent value" standard established under the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA) (Ralph S. Janvey v. The Golf Channel Inc., No. 13-11305, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15407).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 19 vacated a decision denying a woman's claim for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because of an "active-service" clause in her husband's employee benefit plan and remanded for a determination of the terms of the plan at the time her benefits, if any, vested (Lou Ann Woerner, et al. v. Fram Group Operations LLC, et al., No. 15-2813, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15248).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Aug. 19 brief opposing class certification in a suit over purported spyware that was preinstalled on computers, Lenovo (United States) Inc. told a California federal court that the case is "about a theoretical software security vulnerability that never materialized," arguing that certifications is inappropriate because the plaintiffs have not demonstrated any injury from the disputed software (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska federal judge on Aug. 16 ruled that Alaska's Prompt Pay Statute, requiring insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days, is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for claims related to employee benefit plans and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) for claims related to federal worker benefit plans (John D. Zipperer Jr. v. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, No. 3:15-CV-00208, D. Alaska; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109531).
ST. LOUIS - Opposing a motion to compel discovery by the plaintiffs in a putative class action over the 2015 hacking of the Ashley Madison website, the site's operator on Aug. 16 told a Missouri federal court that it already produced everything that falls "within the scope of the 'limited discovery' necessary to decide" a pending motion to compel arbitration (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning computer security technology, a damages expert's apportionment methodology is unreliable as it improperly inflates the apportionment base, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15, partially excluding the testimony (Finjan Inc. v. Sophos Inc., No. 14-01197, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107831).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 16 held that a federal judge erred in determining that an external review of the medical necessity of a woman's anorexia treatment was binding on the parties and precluded her from challenging Oxford Health Insurance Inc.'s denial of her claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the external review had not finally decided the issue against her (Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Insurance Inc. Freedom Access Plan, et al., No. 15-11513, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15030).
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit has failed to plead an actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Likar Rok v. Identiv Inc., et al., No. 15-5775, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a company that sells renewable energy and certain of its executive officers has failed to cure each of the scienter pleading deficiencies in making his claims under federal securities law that resulted in three previous dismissal rulings, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 9 in dismissing the third amended complaint with prejudice (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
LYNCHBURG, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Aug. 10 granted a health insurer's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it unlawfully ignored requests to provide plan documents and breached co-fiduciary duties owed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it is barred by res judicata (W.A. Griffin v. Areva Inc., No. 6:16-cv-00029, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105887).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 9 held that the Securities and Exchange Commission's appointment of in-house administrative law judges does not violate provisions of the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the SEC did not abuse its discretion in imposing a lifetime ban on investment advisers for their role in a scheme to violate provisions of the Advisers Act by misrepresenting backtested returns of financial investment portfolios using the advisers proprietary strategy (Raymond J. Lucia Companies Inc., et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 15-1345, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14559).
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU) and Yale University were sued Aug. 9 in separate putative class action lawsuits on behalf of more than 60,000 employees in their defined contribution retirement plans who claim that the universities, as plan sponsors, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing plan participants to pay millions of dollars in unreasonable and excessive administrative fees.
NEW YORK - Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Capital Inc. will pay $100 million to settle claims with 44 states that they engaged in fraudulent and anti-competitive conduction in manipulating the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) "and other benchmark interest rates," according to a press release issued on Aug. 8 by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 2 partially denied a life insurance company's motion to dismiss a putative class action for benefits under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, finding that a section of a state motor vehicle statute "regulates insurance" and is therefore saved from ERISA preemption (Eric Yost, et al. v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 3:16-cv-00079, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101202).