SALT LAKE CITY - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a hospital group's claims alleging underpayment of medical bills, but the claims would fail in any case because they involve insurer-insured rights and cannot be assigned to third parties, an insurer tells a federal judge in Utah in a June 15 memo (IHC Health Services Inc., et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Inc., No. 18-277, D. Utah).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 15 substantially dismissed a shareholder class action lawsuit, ruling that lead plaintiffs failed to cure a number of pleading deficiencies noted by the judge during oral arguments on several motions to dismiss filed by the defendants in the action (Steven Tharp v. Acacia Communications Inc., et al., No. 17-11504, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100687).
NEW YORK - A federal judge erred in dismissing a securities fraud lawsuit because investors properly alleged a "domestic transaction" under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 19 in reversing and remanding the action to the district court (Ryan Giunta, et al. v. James B. Dingman, et al., No. 17-1375, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16407).
NEW YORK - Deutsche Bank AG and its foreign exchange (FX) business on June 20 agreed to pay $205 million to settle claims with the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) stemming from the DFS's investigation into the global bank's operation of its foreign exchange business.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Rejecting objections by two class members, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 affirmed a trial court's approval of a $10 million settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers affected by a 2013 data breach, finding that on remand after a previous ruling in the objectors' favor, the presiding judge conducted the necessary "rigorous analysis" of the settlement (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15839).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 determined that a life insurer abused its discretion in denying a beneficiary's claim for life insurance benefits because the beneficiary was denied a full and fair review under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the denial is not supported by substantial evidence that the life insurance policy's intoxication exclusion applied to the claim (Esther Hill White v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 17-30356, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15897).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 18 declined to review a ruling by Oklahoma's top court finding an insured's class action challenging a health care provider's billing practices outside of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's preemptive powers (INTEGRIS Health Inc. v. Elizabeth Cates, et al., No. 17-1501, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 18 agreed to hear an appeal of an SEC ruling that an investment banker's two emails sent to prospective investors violated provisions of federal securities laws because there is no split among the federal circuit courts as to the "scope of liability under" provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5 (Francis V. Lorenzo v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-1077, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder on June 13 sued an investment adviser and its board of directors in California federal court, seeking to halt the company's proposed merger deal with a financial planning firm until information necessary for shareholders to vote on the proposed deal is disclosed (Jerry Rubenstein v. Financial Engines Inc., et al., No. 18-3542, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - An investor sued a biosciences company and certain of its senior officers and directors in New Jersey federal court on June 13, alleging that the defendants concealed certain weaknesses in the company's internal controls, allowing it to improperly recognize revenue in violation of federal securities laws (Tim Faulkner v. Akers Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 18-10521, D. N.J.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah's Pattern of Unlawful Activity Act allows the state to establish a pattern of unlawful conduct on crimes that fall outside the statute of limitations, the Utah Supreme Court ruled June 12 in reversing and remanding a state trial court's ruling (Utah v. Scott R. Stewart, No. 20160484, Utah Sup., 2018 Utah LEXIS 76).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 12 ruled that a lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit properly pleaded falsity and materiality in arguing that a drug maker and certain of its current and former executive officers concealed from investors that the company had overstated its revenues for 2015 in violation of federal securities law (In re Insys Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-1954, S.D. N.Y., 218 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100000).
SAN FRANCISCO - Shareholders in a derivative lawsuit against certain officers and directors of a solar panel manufacturer failed to plead demand futility, and a federal district court did not err in dismissing their complaint as a result, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 13 (Clifford Tindall, et al. v. First Solar Inc., et al., No. 17-15185, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15837).
ALBANY, N.Y. - In a 4-1 ruling, a divided New York Court of Appeals on June 12 ruled that claims brought pursuant to the Martin Act are governed by a three-year statute of limitations under New York law (The People v. Credit Suisse (USA) LLC, et al., No. 40, N.Y. App., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 1451).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 11 dismissed an amended shareholder complaint in its entirety and with prejudice, ruling that lead plaintiffs failed to plead falsity or scienter in making their federal securities law claims against an animal pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives (In re Aratana Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-880, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98535).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Intuitive Surgical Inc. on June 13 announced that it reached an agreement in principle to settle a securities class action for $42.5 million (In Re: Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations by a putative class of approximately 1,700 former Delta Air Lines Inc. pilots that final benefits determinations made under their retirement plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act were rejected June 11 by a District of Columbia federal judge, who found instead that a trustee for the plan was neither arbitrary nor capricious (K. Wendell Lewis, et al. v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, No. 15-1328, D. D.C.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97210).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 8 entered an order of final judgment in favor of plaintiffs who claimed that Foot Locker Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act by failing to properly provide retirement plan participants with notices about changes to the plan and found that class counsel was entitled to $95 million in attorney fees (Geoffrey Osberg, et al. v. Foot Locker Inc., No. 07 CV 1358, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - In a June 7 order, a federal judge in California denied motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit against social media company Snap Inc., certain of its senior executives and directors and underwriters of the company's initial public offering (IPO), ruling that shareholders properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission and scienter, as well as damages, in making their federal securities law claims (In re Snap Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-3679, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97704).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 8 reversed and remanded an appeal in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that a federal district court erred in determining that an investor's state law breach of contract and negligence claims were precluded under Title I of the Securities Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) (Jyll Brink v. Raymond James & Associates Inc., No. 16-14144, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15519).
ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal judge did not err in deeming a 2015 state law that governs the conduct of pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 8 (Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Leslie Rutledge, Nos. 17-1609, -1629, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15487).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 11 denied a life insurer's petition for writ of certiorari challenging a lower court's finding that a divorce decree suffices as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that "clearly specifies" a decedent's daughter as the beneficiary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Richard E. Jackson, et al., No. 17-1247, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Putative class members may not file a new class action lawsuit outside the applicable statute of limitations in lieu of joining an existing class action lawsuit or filing an individual action, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 11, overturning a federal circuit court's determination in a securities class action lawsuit that the American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolling doctrine tolls the statute of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period (China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al., No. 17-432, U.S. Sup.).
NEWARK, N.J. - In a June 7 unpublished opinion, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a third amended securities class action complaint, ruling that a lead plaintiff failed to show that a Chinese social media company and certain of its current and former senior executives issued any misrepresentations in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings concealing that the company was not in compliance with Chinese internet licensing laws (Andrew Goldsmith v. Weibo Corp., et al., No. 17-4728, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95592).