TAMPA, Fla. - A court can adequately manage its docket without staying proceedings while considering a motion for remand, a motion it should deny and then grant summary judgment, because an insurer's actions complied with the terms of the insured's Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida told a federal judge on Jan. 11 (Premier Inpatient Partners LLC, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., Nos. 17-3000, 17-3001, M.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A majority of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 9 affirmed a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of Blue Shield of California in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit challenging the denial of a claim for medical benefits, finding the court did not err in applying ERISA's "unique" abuse of discretion standard (Krysten C. v. Blue Shield of California, No. 16-16958, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 584).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurance executive accused of engaging in a $2.5 million fraudulent scheme settled claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 11 after the SEC filed a complaint in Connecticut federal court (Securities and Exchange Commission v. David S. Haddad, et al., No. 18-00055, D. Conn.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 8 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a putative class action alleging that the fiduciaries of a publically traded company's stock ownership plan breached their duties by failing to protect the plan from harm caused by the artificial inflation of the company's stock price due to fraud and misrepresentation (Todd Graham, et al v. v. Richard Fearon, et al., No. 17-3407, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 407).
ATLANTA - A month after almost 100 lawsuits over the recently announced Equifax Inc. data breach were consolidated, the presiding Georgia federal judge, in a Jan. 9 case management order, announced that the case would proceed with separate, concurrent tracks for individual consumer and financial institution (FI) plaintiffs (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 8 reversed a district court's dismissal of a union carpenter's claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in relation to his pension and remanded the case for review of whether he exhausted his administrative remedies (Frederick Stampone v. Matthew Walker, et al., No. 17-2660, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 440).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 5 dismissed Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act class claims against the largest pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) and a health insurance provider over prescription pricing, but gave the plaintiffs 21 days to file a third amended complaint (In re Express Scripts/Anthem ERISA Litigation, No. 16-3399, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3081).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Jan. 5 granted in part and denied in part Vanderbilt University's motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit accusing it of mismanaging its employee retirement plans in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Loren L. Cassell, et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al., No. 16-02086, M.D. Tenn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2364).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the second time in two months, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 5 issued an order of suspension of trading to a cryptocurrency trading company over concerns about the company's business operations and market activity (In The Matter Of UBI Blockchain Internet Ltd., File No. 500-1, SEC).
ST. LOUIS - A federal district court did not err in dismissing an investor's class action lawsuit against a securities brokerage for allegedly violating the terms of its "duty of best execution" because the investor's claims were preempted by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 5 in affirming (Nicholas Lewis v. Scottrade Inc., No. 16-3808, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 493).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 5 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a food company that denied severance benefits under a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, finding that the evidence showed that an employee did not have good reason to self-terminate his employment (James Boyd v. ConAgra Foods Inc., Nos. 16-1763, 16-3443, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 261).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 said it will not reconsider its Nov. 6 ruling that a federal judge did not err in granting a motion for class certification filed by shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit even though the judge erred in applying the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States (Joseph Waggoner, et al. v. Barclays PLC, et al., No. 16-1912, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Jan. 5 announced that a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements for employee disability benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will go into effect on April 1.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A June 2017 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse, for a second time, a Pennsylvania federal judge's award of attorney fees on behalf of a prevailing patent defendant will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari in the case Jan. 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court (All-Tag Security S.A. v. Checkpoint Systems Inc., No. 17-519, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 granted a communications networks hardware and software supplier's motion to strike shareholders' supplemental brief challenging a California Superior Court ruling that the shareholders in a securities class action are not preempted by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) from bringing their Securities Act of 1933 claims (Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, et al., No. 15-1439, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a defined-benefit pension plan participant has representational standing to sue brokers who manage funds on behalf of the plan for breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Convergex Group LLC, et al. v. Landol Fletcher, No. 17-343, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - An ordinance outlining the city of Cincinnati's requirements for the award of construction contracts for water works jobs is not subject to preemption by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the city was acting as a proprietor rather than a regulator, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Jan. 4 in reversing a district court's ruling (Allied Construction Industries v. City of Cincinnati, Nos. 2016-4248, 2016-4249, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 214).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 affirmed a district court's judgment that a health fund was required to pay excess assets to a new employee welfare trust fund because the payment of the excess funds was required by the contract at issue and not by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as the district court determined (Greenbrier Hotel Corp., et al. v. Unite Here Health, et al., Nos. 16-2116, 17-1720, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 105).