SAN DIEGO - After finding that there was no undue delay by an investor who alleges that the manager of a nightclub development company violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and committed securities fraud by inducing him into investing money for the development of a club, a California federal judge on Feb. 21 granted him leave to amend his complaint to name another manager as a defendant (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28013).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The whistleblower anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 does not extend to individuals who report a securities law violation but do not report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 21 in narrowing the statute's definition of a whistleblower (Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Paul Somers, No. 16-1276, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 15 agreed to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims against an employer in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act proposed class complaint, finding that the plaintiffs - all retired or former employees - failed to show that the defendant, who was not named a fiduciary under the employee pension benefit plan, was a functional fiduciary (Clifton Marshall, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al., No. 16-6794, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a retired worker seeking a ruling on whether the administrator of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed pension plan "may ignore a general rule that is expressly stated in the plan . . . and substitute a different rule, thereby creating an exception to the general rule that does not otherwise exist in the plan itself" (John E. Dowling v. Pension Plan for Salaried Employee of Union Pacific Corporation and Affiliates, et al., No. 17-1010, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Foot Locker Inc. asking the high court to decide whether a class of pension plan participants could be certified in a case alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when Foot Locker failed to disclose a temporary freezing of benefits after the Foot Locker Retirement Plan was transitioned to a cash-balance plan (Foot Locker, Inc., et al. v. Geoffrey Osberg, et al., No. 17-690, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 granted a motion for leave to dispense with preparation of joint index filed by petitioners in an appeal of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges (ALJs) are constitutional officers pursuant to the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution (Raymond J. Lucia, et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-130, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in its administration and management of its retirement plan (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 16-6284, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23540).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Feb. 12 found that a benefits plan and insurer were not obligated to provide a plan participant with documents in relation to his discovery request because they are not the plan administrators, granting them summary judgment on his claim for violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Figlioli v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, et al., No. 1:17CV171, N.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22155).
BOSTON - A group of investors may aggregate their losses and has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a biopharmaceutical company and two of its senior officers over misrepresentations that they made regarding the company's prospects for its herpes treatment, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled Feb. 12 in granting the investor group's motion for appointment as lead plaintiff (Steven Emerson, et al. v. Genocea Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 17-12137, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22228).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a shareholder's motion to alter judgment in a securities class action lawsuit is procedurally proper and timely, newly discovered evidence is still insufficient to cure the shareholder's scienter and loss causation pleading deficiencies, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 9 in denying the motion (Likar Rok v. Identiv Inc., et al., No. 15-5775, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21916).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The city of Providence, R.I., on Feb. 12 filed a consumer protection class action complaint against Intel Corp. in California federal court, charging the microprocessor chip manufacturer with unfair competition and warranty violations related to the recently discovered "Meltdown" and "Spectre" security vulnerabilities that can reportedly affect millions of computers and devices worldwide, resulting in the exposure of users' sensitive information (Providence v. Intel Corp., No. 5:18-cv-00894, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Arguing in a Feb. 9 brief that they sufficiently alleged such elements as reliance, damages and unconscionability, the lead plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit over data breaches experienced by Yahoo Inc. oppose the internet firm's motion to dismiss in California federal court (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).
LONDON - An England and Wales High Court justice on Feb. 9 ordered a group of Mauritius investors to post security costs in favor of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in relation to the investors' challenge of an arbitral award issued in Pakistan's favor in a dispute over the sale of an energy gas company (Progas Energy Limited, et al. v. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, No.  EWHC 209 [Comm], England and Wales High, Comm.).
NEW YORK - Noting that the parties involved in a suit alleging that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in its administration and management of its retirement plan may benefit from an early indication of class certification, a New York federal judge on Feb. 7 entered an order stating that the court intended to grant the plaintiffs' order for class certification (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-6284, S.D. N.Y.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A technology-based provider of advanced fossil and renewable power generation equipment and two of its senior officials have failed to show that its alleged misstatements and omissions in a securities class action lawsuit are forward-looking, puffery or optimistic statements or that the statements were not made with the requisite scienter, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled Feb. 8 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Eric Ollila v. Babcock & Wilson Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 17-109, W.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20587).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A shareholder filed a securities class action complaint against insurance provider Aetna Inc. and its board of directors on Feb. 5 in Connecticut federal court, seeking to halt the company's proposed merger deal with CVS Health Corp. until shareholders are provided with information necessary to make a well-informed decision in connection with the proposed transaction (Joel Rosenfeld v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 18-0213, D. Conn.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on Feb. 5 ordered parties to submit a joint statement of facts and questions for certification to the Utah Supreme Court to clarify what the applicable standard is for determining control-person liability under the Utah Uniform Securities Act (Gil A. Miller v. Union Central Life Insurance Co., No. No. 14-575, D. Utah, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19388).
NEW ORLEANS - RadioShack Corp. employees who participated in its 401(k) plan failed to show that RadioShack's board of directors and 401(k) plan administrative committee breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by allowing plan participants to invest in RadioShack stock while the company was headed to bankruptcy, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 6, upholding a trial court's ruling for RadioShack (Manoj P. Singh v. RadioShack Corporation, et al., Jeffrey Snyder v. RadioShack Corporation, et al., William A. Gerhart, et al. v. RadioShack Corporation, et al., No. 16-11587, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2904).