SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed that Dignity Health's pension plan was not subject to the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and did not qualify for ERISA's church-plan exception because it was not established by a church or by a convention or association of churches (Starla Rollins, et al. v. Dignity Health, et al., No. 15-15351, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13574).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because alleged false and misleading statements made by a quick-service restaurant chain, several of its executive officers and directors and others in a 2015 press release were forward-looking and protected under the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) or were mere puffery and were nonactionable, a federal judge in California ruled July 25 (Daniel Turocy v. El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1343, C.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings climbed to higher than historical averages in the first half of 2016, up 27 percent from the semiannual average observed between 1997 and 2015, according to a semiannual report released July 26 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by a petitioner to secure post-grant review of U.S. patent No. 9,108,890, issued in 2015 to The Johns Hopkins University, were unsuccessful on July 25, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied the request (David Adebimpe v. The Johns Hopkins University, No. PGR2016-00020, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A faulty workmanship exclusion precludes coverage for collapse damages caused by an insured's actions related to the excavation of a basement coupled with the failure to install underpinning to secure the building's foundation, a Virginia federal judge ruled July 21, finding that the ensuing loss exception fails to restore coverage because no independent and covered peril contributed to the collapse other than the insured's excluded conduct (Taja Investments LLC, et al. v. Peerless Insurance Co. a/k/a Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-01647, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95760).
LOS ANGELES - A drug maker will pay $95 million to settle claims that it misrepresented certain safety concerns with two of its products in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed July 21 in California federal court (In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-2536, C.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court must reconsider whether an employment agency should have known about its client's possible discriminatory transfer request after the worker, who alleges that she was discriminated against because of her age, showed that the agency failed to follow its usual practice of investigating employee removal requests, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 18 (Helen Nicholson v. Securitas Security Services USA, Incorporated, No. 15-10582, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13127).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 18 granted preliminary approval of a $23.5 million settlement between shareholders and a semiconductor company and others in a securities class action lawsuit, appointing shareholders as class counsel and approving the proposed settlement class (Keith Thomas, et al. v. MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.).
MARSHALL, Texas - A defendant failed to prove that a patent plaintiff litigated its case in an unreasonable manner or that the claims presented "stand out" from others pursuant to Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 ), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 18 (Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC v. ADS Security LP, No. 15-1431, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92845).
TOLEDO, Ohio - Defendants in a long-running securities class action lawsuit will pay $64 million to settle claims that they misrepresented a company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed in Ohio federal court on July 14 (Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund, et al. v. Michael Burns, et al., No. 05-7393, N.D. Ohio).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Without providing further detail, a federal judge in Oregon on July 13 appointed two pension funds as lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a metal components manufacturer and two of its executive officers (Kevin Murphy v. Precision Castparts Corp., et al., No. 16-0521, D. Ore.).
DALLAS - Ruling that defendants in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil enforcement action have failed to show that a federal district court committed manifest errors of law or fact, a federal judge in Texas on July 13 denied the defendants' motion for reconsideration of his ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Arcturus Corp., et al., No. 13-4861, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88410).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to show that dismissal is warranted because their arguments in favor of dismissal "lack merit," shareholders argue in a July 11 opposition brief filed in New York federal court (Saleh Altayyar, et al. v. Etsy Inc., et al., No. 15-2785, E.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on July 12 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action properly pleaded loss causation in making his federal securities law claims (Brad Mauss v. NuVasive Inc., et al., No. 13-2005, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90412).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 13 affirmed dismissal of a putative class action filed by retirement plan participants and a plan administrator alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (In Re: Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation; Timothy M. Kelley, et al. v. Fidelity Management Trust Co., et al., No. 15-1445, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12874).