ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska federal judge on Aug. 16 ruled that Alaska's Prompt Pay Statute, requiring insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days, is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for claims related to employee benefit plans and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) for claims related to federal worker benefit plans (John D. Zipperer Jr. v. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, No. 3:15-CV-00208, D. Alaska; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109531).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning computer security technology, a damages expert's apportionment methodology is unreliable as it improperly inflates the apportionment base, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15, partially excluding the testimony (Finjan Inc. v. Sophos Inc., No. 14-01197, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107831).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 16 held that a federal judge erred in determining that an external review of the medical necessity of a woman's anorexia treatment was binding on the parties and precluded her from challenging Oxford Health Insurance Inc.'s denial of her claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the external review had not finally decided the issue against her (Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Insurance Inc. Freedom Access Plan, et al., No. 15-11513, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15030).
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit has failed to plead an actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making his federal securities law claims, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 10 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Likar Rok v. Identiv Inc., et al., No. 15-5775, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a company that sells renewable energy and certain of its executive officers has failed to cure each of the scienter pleading deficiencies in making his claims under federal securities law that resulted in three previous dismissal rulings, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 9 in dismissing the third amended complaint with prejudice (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
LYNCHBURG, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Aug. 10 granted a health insurer's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it unlawfully ignored requests to provide plan documents and breached co-fiduciary duties owed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it is barred by res judicata (W.A. Griffin v. Areva Inc., No. 6:16-cv-00029, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105887).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 9 held that the Securities and Exchange Commission's appointment of in-house administrative law judges does not violate provisions of the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the SEC did not abuse its discretion in imposing a lifetime ban on investment advisers for their role in a scheme to violate provisions of the Advisers Act by misrepresenting backtested returns of financial investment portfolios using the advisers proprietary strategy (Raymond J. Lucia Companies Inc., et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 15-1345, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14559).
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU) and Yale University were sued Aug. 9 in separate putative class action lawsuits on behalf of more than 60,000 employees in their defined contribution retirement plans who claim that the universities, as plan sponsors, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing plan participants to pay millions of dollars in unreasonable and excessive administrative fees.
NEW YORK - Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Capital Inc. will pay $100 million to settle claims with 44 states that they engaged in fraudulent and anti-competitive conduction in manipulating the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) "and other benchmark interest rates," according to a press release issued on Aug. 8 by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 2 partially denied a life insurance company's motion to dismiss a putative class action for benefits under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, finding that a section of a state motor vehicle statute "regulates insurance" and is therefore saved from ERISA preemption (Eric Yost, et al. v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 3:16-cv-00079, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101202).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to General Motors Corp. in a lawsuit alleging that GM unlawfully circumvented the Employment Retirement Income Security Act and the Pension Protection Act with its denial of a woman's Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) because the claims are time-barred and without merit (Marva Jane Richardson-Roy v. Abigail Johnson, et al., No. 15-1914, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14051).
BAY CITY, Mich. - An Indian tribe's claim that its health care plan administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act fails because the tribe cannot establish that the administrator had a fiduciary duty under ERISA to ensure payment of Medicare-like rates (MLRs) for certain health services, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 3 in dismissing the claim (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 16-cv-10317, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101610).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A class of consumers suing a health care benefits provider over a data breach must clarify and replead several fraud-based and contract-based claims if they wish to proceed with them, an Oregon federal judge ruled Aug. 1, granting in part and denying in part a motion to partially dismiss the suit (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-2633, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100198).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 affirmed a district court's decision to grant summary judgment for a bank in relation to a scheduled foreclosure, finding that the bank had standing to foreclose (Roderick Robertson, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Residential Assets Securities Corporation, Home Equity Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2006-EMX3, et al., Nos. 15-6286/16-5116, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14112).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 held that a petroleum refiner insured failed to provide any evidence that it would have acted differently had it known that a petroleum distributor's credit account was not secured, affirming a lower court's ruling that there was no "unlawful taking" to trigger commercial crime coverage for the loss of approximately $90 million worth of fuel (Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, L.L.C. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, No. 15-50405, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13838).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiffs have pleaded falsity, materiality and scienter in making their federal securities law claims by arguing that a research manufacturing company and certain of its current and former executive officers concealed issues relating to a power failure at one of the company's laboratories, a federal judge in New York ruled July 26 (John Gauquie v. Albany Molecular Research Inc., et al., No. 14-6637, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97295).