RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Jan. 5 granted a pair of motions to transfer related shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits to Georgia federal court, ruling that such transfer is in the convenience of the parties and witnesses involved and that transfer is in the interest of justice (In e Galectin Therapeutics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-399, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 619).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Participants in Boeing Co.'s 401(k) plan may continue with the majority of their claims related to excessive fees, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 30 in denying Boeing's motion for summary judgment on the merits and in denying in part Boeing's motion for summary judgment based on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's six-year statute of limitations (Gary Spano, et al. v. The Boeing Company, et al., No. 06-743, S.D. Ill.).
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on Dec. 31 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurance broker's purported negligence in failing to timely tender an insured's claim caused no damages because the insurance policy's insured vs. insured exclusion precluded coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging securities fraud and negligent misrepresentation against the insured (Ecolite Concrete U.S.A., INC., et al. v. G.S. Levine Insurance Services Inc., et al., Nos. D064178, D064917 and D064918, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. I; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9271).
MINNEAPOLIS - An insurer was entitled to have its decision denying disability benefits reviewed under an abuse-of-discretion standard of review under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because a reasonable person would consider that the policy incorporated the grant of discretion in the summary plan description (SPD), the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 30 in upholding the insurer's denial of benefits (Vicki Johnson v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, No. 13-2645, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24557).
ST. PAUL - State laws that preclude discretionary language and pre-existing condition limitations in group health and disability plans did not negate an abuse-of-discretion standard of review or application of a disability plan's pre-existing condition limitation provision, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 29 in ruling that an insurer did not abuse its discretion under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in denying buy-up benefits due to the plan's pre-existing condition provision (Karen Brake v. The Hutchinson Technology Incorporated Group Disability Income Insurance Plan, No. 13-3421, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24489).
CHICAGO - In the fifth appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the appeals court on Dec. 24 dismissed a class action suit that alleged that a defined-contribution pension plan was partially terminated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Robert J. Matz v. Household International Tax Reduction Investment Plan, Nos. 14-1683, 14-2507, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24448).
SAN FRANCISCO - Symantec Corp. saw its motions to quash and for a protective order denied Dec. 19, with a California federal judge finding that the cyber-security firm had "not meaningfully disputed the relevance sought by the subpoena" in an underlying consumer class action against Target Corp. related to a 2013 data breach (In Re: Target Corporation Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:14-mc-80302, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 withdrew its prior opinion that a pension plan participant who challenged the termination of benefits following the plan's rediscovery that he had not met the plan's vesting requirements failed to demonstrate that he was entitled to any equitable remedies under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(3), and the appeals panel filed a superseding opinion remanding to the district court to consider whether the participant was entitled to surcharge (Gregory R. Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, et al., No. 12-35458, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10553).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Participants in two of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s 401(k) plans reached a provisional settlement on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing the plans to pay excessive administrative expenses, by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset and by mismanaging the plan's company stock funds (CSFs), a Dec. 16 notice issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois indicated (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 06-cv-701, S.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 15 denied a motion for reconsideration filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that they have failed to show how two Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decisions would change the outcome in the instant action (In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation, No. 13-1920, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173088).
LAS VEGAS - MGM Mirage Resorts International, CityCenter Holdings LLC and Infinity World Development Corp. on Dec. 16 agreed to pay $195 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by Perini Building Co. over the construction of the CityCenter project in Los Vegas, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by MGM Mirage (Perini Building Co. v. MGM Mirage Design Group, No. A-10-612676-B, Nev. Dist., Clark Co.).
LOS ANGELES - Two former employees filed a putative class complaint against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in California federal court Dec. 15, asserting that the entertainment giant was negligent in its cyber security, which led to the recent breach of Sony's computer network and the compromising of the personal identifying information (PII) of thousands of past and present employees (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge did not err in dismissing a federal securities class action lawsuit because lead plaintiffs failed to plead scienter and loss causation, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 16 (Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, et al. v. Apollo Group Inc., et al., No. 12-16624, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23677).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than a month after the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a closely watched case regarding the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA), the plaintiffs on Dec. 11 asked the court to take judicial notice of pending piece of legislation that they say "deals with the Government Defendants' illegal and unconstitutional surveillance" and "relates directly to" the present suit (Larry Elliott Klayman, et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama, et al., No. 14-5004, 14-5005, 14-5016, 14-5017, D.C. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 15 invited the solicitor general to weigh in on whether the court should grant review of a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts Vermont's health care data collection law as applied to a self-funded ERISA benefit plan (Alfred J. Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 14-181, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 12 dismissed a case alleging that the transfer of a deed of trust and promissory note securing a mortgage were improperly securitized, saying that the plaintiff's theories do not support any of her claims, including one brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) (Carolanne Sottile v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 13-5909, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172277).