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. 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.
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. 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).
NEW YORK - Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) will pay $2.95 billion to settle claims that it concealed from investors its involvement in an illegal bribery and kickback scheme in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by the company on Jan. 3 (In re Petrobras Securities Litigation, No. 14-9662, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - Class action plaintiffs that accused their former employer Wawa Inc. of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act moved Dec. 29 for preliminary approval of a $25 million settlement to resolve claims arising out of a 2015 Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) amendment (Greg Pfeifer v. Wawa, Inc., et al., No. 16-497, E.D. Pa.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Defendants in a pair of related securities class action lawsuits alleging an insider-trading and front-running scheme regarding pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s attempt at a hostile takeover of Allergan Inc. will pay $290 million to settle the claims against them, according to a press release issued by Valeant on Dec. 29 (Anthony Basile, et al. v. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., et al., No. 14-2004, C.D. Calif., and Timber Hill LLC v. Pershing Square Capital Management, No. 17-4776, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 28 approved a revised settlement as "fair, reasonable, and adequate" in a class action lawsuit alleging that an amendment to a pension plan is illegal under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it was not enacted in accordance with ERISA's provisions (Juan M. Reyes, et al. v. Bakery & Confectionery Union & Indus. Int'l Pension Fund, No. 14-05596, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212816).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 29 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted against a financial services firm in relation to trades it made to a securities company, finding that all the causes of action were barred by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) (Francis X. Fleming Jr. v. The Charles Schwab Corporation, et al., Nos. 16-15179, 16-15189, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 26982).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A Native American tribe lost its bid to pursue claims that its health care plan administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to charge the tribe Medicare-like rates for contracted services at a hospital, when a Michigan federal judge affirmed Dec. 27 that the statute of limitations bars the claims (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan v. Munson Medical Center, No. 5:14-cv-11349, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211418).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A class action alleging that an insurer improperly profited when medications cost less than the insured's copay fails to support claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or state law, a federal judge in Minnesota held Dec. 19 in dismissing more than a dozen such claims (In re: UnitedHealth Group PBM Litigation, No. 16-3352, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208328).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 granted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's motion to file an amicus curiae brief in a putative class action alleging that fiduciaries mismanaged a matched savings plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and denied the fiduciaries' request for leave to appeal a lower court's order that granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification (Ramon Moreno, et al. v. Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp., et al., No. 17-2911, 2nd Cir.).
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 18 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan administrator abused its discretion in denying early retirement benefits (ERB) to a claimant (Peter Evan Dresel v. Pension Plan of the Pacific Northwest Laboratories, et al., Nos. 15-35643 and 15-35652, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25522).