NEW YORK - Bankruptcy courts do not have jurisdiction to award compensation to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and his retained legal accounting professionals out of assets in a 401(k) plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 5 (In the Matter of: Robert Plan Corporation [Kenneth Kirschenbaum v. United States Department of Labor], No. 14-1144, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1807).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - McGraw Hill Financial Inc. and its subsidiary, Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P Financial), announced on Feb. 3 that they will pay a combined $1.5 billion to settle actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, the attorneys general of 19 states and the District of Columbia and a California state employee pension fund regarding ratings issued and surveilled by S&P Financial's business unit for certain mortgage-backed securities in violation of state and federal laws.
NEW ORLEANS - A financial adviser who was fired after he, while at work, purchased a $25 money order for his attorney, may proceed with his age discrimination and defamation claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 2 (Lloyd Flanner v. Chase Investment Services Corp., doing business as JP Morgan Securities, L.L.C., No. 13-31132, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1603).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three senators, members of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security, urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Jan. 30 to provide an update on the agency's oversight of recalls and voluntary service campaigns related to alleged defects in air bag inflators manufactured by Takata Corp. and to ensure that recalled inflators undergo independent testing.
NEWARK, N.J. - Dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 28, because shareholders failed to properly plead any actionable misrepresentations in making their federal securities law claims (Marianna Nasyrova v. Immunomedics Inc., et al., No. 14-1269, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9887).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against a biopharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers for alleged violations of federal securities laws because the lead plaintiff failed to properly plead a material misrepresentation and scienter, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 29 (John Ingram v. Vivus Inc., et al., No. 12-17398, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1431).
NEW YORK - Securities and business litigation filings and enforcement actions were down for a third straight year in 2014, but the overall number was still elevated "compared to the years prior to the financial crisis," according to a report released Jan. 27 by insurance information firm Advisen.
NEW YORK - Pfizer Inc. will pay $400 million to settle claims that it engaged in illegal off-label marketing and kickback schemes for certain of its products in violation of federal securities laws, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document filed by Pfizer on Jan. 27 (Mary K. Jones v. Pfizer Inc., et al., No. 10-3864, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Jan. 26 remanded to state court a hospital's lawsuit seeking reimbursement for charges for treatment of a participant in a health plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, holding that the hospital's state unfair competition law claims were not completely preempted by ERISA (Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula v. Blue Cross of California, et al., No. 14-CV-04552, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9248).
BOSTON - Although shareholders filed more federal securities class action lawsuits than in 2013, the number was still 10 percent lower than the average observed from 1997 to 2013, according to an annual report released Jan. 27 by Cornerstone Research.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 26 denied review of a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Unum Life Insurance Company of America did not breach its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to act solely in the interest of life insurance beneficiaries by failing to credit a sufficient rate of interest to their retained asset accounts (RAAs), through which they received their benefits (Denise Merrimon, et al. v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 14-606, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge erred by finding that a health care provider settled its claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for services rendered with a self-funded employee benefit plan based on the plan's "one-sided representation," the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21 in an unpublished order (Montefiore Medical Center v. Teamsters Local 272, et al., No. 13-4221-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 844).
LAFAYETTE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge held Jan. 22 that a "claim" was made against an insured during its third-party administrator and technology professional liability, network security liability and business interruption insurance policy period, further finding that the insured provided timely notice of the claim (HealthSmart Benefit Solutions, Inc. versus Principia Underwriting, et al., No. 14-00776, W.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8134).