PORTLAND, Ore. - Although an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 9 found that some fraud and contract-based claims related to a 2014 data breach experienced by Premera Blue Cross merited dismissal, he held that the plaintiffs cured some previous deficiencies and concluded that their claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18322).
DENVER - Shareholders have pleaded a majority of their claims against defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker, certain of its current and former executive officers and others, a federal judge in Colorado found Feb. 9 in ruling on three different dismissal motions (Sonny P. Medina, et al. v. Clovis Oncology Inc., et al., No. 15-2546, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18795).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 10 issued a summary order vacating a New York federal judge's ruling that a pension plan participant does not have standing to sue on behalf of himself, his pension plan and other similarly situated Employee Retirement Income Security Act plans over alleged improper fiduciary conduct (Landol Fletcher v. Convergex Group LLC, et al., No. 16-734, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2459).
NEW YORK - An online foreign exchange trading services provider and its CEO concealed that the company's American subsidiary had engaged in "false and misleading solicitations of its foreign exchange customers" in violation of federal securities laws, an investor argues in a Feb. 8 securities class action complaint filed in New York federal court (Ying Zhao v. FXCM Inc., et al., No. 17-0955, S.D. N.Y.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two pension funds failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in arguing that a company and certain of its executive officers issued misstatements regarding the company's financial condition in the wake of an industry downturn, a federal judge in Florida ruled Feb. 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re KLX Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-80023, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17764).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 8 dismissed an amended complaint filed by investors who alleged that a financial services firm and its CEO engaged in a scheme to manipulate prices at which certain futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Global Platform (CME Globex), ruling that the investors failed to show that the alleged transactions took place on an American exchange as required pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. (Myun-Uk Choi, et al. v. Tower Research Capital LLC, et al., No. 14-9912, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18174).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 8 denied motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) and other groups opposed to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new "fiduciary rule" set to take effect April 10, saying that the DOL has not exceeded its authority and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Edward Hugler, Acting Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1476, consolidated with 3:16-cv-1530, 3:16-cv-1537, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17619).
BOSTON - A former programmer for a Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company was charged Feb. 7 with insider trading for conspiring to commit securities fraud by trading insider information about successful drug trials (United States of America v. Songjiang Wang, No. 17-1005, D. Mass.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Several current and former executive officers and directors of an electric carmaker used "the wrong procedural tool" in arguing on behalf of dismissal of a common-law securities fraud claim against them, a federal judge in Delaware ruled Feb. 7 in denying a pair of dismissal motions (In re Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. Shareholder Litigation, No. 13-2100, D. Del, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16683).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings hit record highs in 2016, up more than 40 percent of the average from 1997-2015, according to a report released Jan. 31 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Finding merit to objections of two members of a consumer class action over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 remanded a settlement of that suit, finding that a trial court "failed to articulate its analysis of the numerous disputed issues of law and fact regarding the propriety of class certification" (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1767).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 31 motion in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeks summary judgment of a suit in which three news organizations allege Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) violations, with the bureau asserting that it withheld certain details related to the unlocking of a terrorist's smart phone out of national security concerns and to protect trade secrets of the vendor that unlocked the device (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has pleaded its claims with particularity and has properly pleaded scienter in arguing that a hedge fund manager and others engaged in widespread securities fraud with regard to an investment scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Florida ruled Jan. 30 in substantially denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kingdom Legacy General Partners LLC, et al., No. 16-441, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12717).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on Jan. 27 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation and denied pension plans' motion to dismiss an amended class action complaint alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying the factual record must be developed before a summary judgment motion could be considered (Ivette M. Martinez-Gonzalez, et al. v. Catholic Schools of the Archioceses of San Juan Pension Plan, et al., No. 16-2077, D. Puerto Rico, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11903).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Jan. 30 approved a stipulation and ordered a reinsurer sued by the liquidator of an insolvent insurer for breach of contract to post a security bond with the court (Roger A. Sevigny, the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Hampshire, as Liquidator of The Home Insurance Company v. Trygvesta Forsikring A/S, as successor in interest to Skandinavia Insurance Company Ltd., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 26 refused to dismiss a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that a participant in an employer profit-sharing and 401(k) plan's complaint provided sufficient facts to plausibly state these claims (Charlene F. McDonald, et al. v. Edward D. Jones & Co., et al., No. 4:16 CV 1346, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10820).
RICHMOND, Va. - In a case in which an employee alleged that his employer improperly administered life insurance benefits, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 27 affirmed a federal judge's decision dismissing the complaint alleging misrepresentation, constructive fraud and infliction of emotional distress because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act completely preempts these state law claims (Billy E. Prince, et al. v. Sears Holdings Corp., No. 16-1075, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1512).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a medical device maker and certain of its executive officers have shown that they had "good cause" to request leave to amend their complaint because the information they seek to add to the amended complaint was not discovered until after the court-imposed deadline to amend pleadings, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 25 (In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10716).