LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 2 Arizona Men Settle SEC Insider Trading Claims For $370K

PHOENIX - Two men have agreed to pay nearly $370,000 to settle claims that they engaged in insider trading scheme in violation of federal securities laws, according to a stipulation of settlement filed in Arizona federal court on Dec. 14 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Lanny Brown, et al., No. 17-4630, D. Ariz.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investors Found To Have Properly Pleaded Scienter In Fiat Stock Securities Suit

FLINT, Mich. - Automobile manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) and certain of its executive officers have failed to show that lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit have not properly pleaded materiality or scienter in claiming that the defendants misrepresented the company's American retail sales in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Dec. 14 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Carl Palazzolo, et al. v. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., et al., No. 16-12803, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205572).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Colorado Federal Judge Tosses Claims Against Fund Operator In ERISA Class Suit

DENVER - A retirement plan participant suing a fund operator for various violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act failed to show on the first two claims that the defendant was a fiduciary and failed to meet the required heightened showing that the operator was a party in interest (John Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, No. 14-2330, D. Colo.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 6th Circuit Panel Rules That District Court Erred In Loss Causation Analysis

CINCINNATI - A federal district court erred in dismissing a shareholder class action against the operator of the country's largest for-profit hospital system and certain of its executive officers for failure to plead loss causation because lead plaintiffs have shown that the filing of a complaint against the company alleging Medicare fraud and the defendants' own disclosures that the company's stock was down were sufficient corrective disclosures, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 13 in reversing and remanding (Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health Systems Inc., et al., No. 16-6059, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25136).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Fusion Surgery Preauthorization Waived Insurer's Later Denial

LOS ANGELES - A health insurer waived the right to deny coverage for vertebrate fusion surgery as experimental when it preauthorized the procedure, albeit with a different device, a federal judge in California held Dec. 12, entering judgment for the plaintiff on her Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims (Aubrey Cohorst v. Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky Inc., No. 16-7925, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204362).

Mealey's Health Law - Federal Judge: Fusion Surgery Preauthorization Waived Insurer's Later Denial

LOS ANGELES - A health insurer waived the right to deny coverage for vertebrate fusion surgery as experimental when it preauthorized the procedure, albeit with a different device, a federal judge in California held Dec. 12, entering judgment for the plaintiff on her Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims (Aubrey Cohorst v. Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky Inc., No. 16-7925, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204362).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge: Fusion Surgery Preauthorization Waived Insurer's Later Denial

LOS ANGELES - A health insurer waived the right to deny coverage for vertebrate fusion surgery as experimental when it preauthorized the procedure, albeit with a different device, a federal judge in California held Dec. 12, entering judgment for the plaintiff on her Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims (Aubrey Cohorst v. Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky Inc., No. 16-7925, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204362).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stay In ERISA Forum-Selection Appeals

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Dec. 8, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay request filed by a retiree seeking reinstatement terminated health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the employer being sued waived its right to respond to the retiree's petition for writ of certiorari (George W. Mathias v. United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, et al., No. 17-740, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Laboratory Lacks Standing To Pursue ERISA Claims, Dismisses Case

RALEIGH, N.C. - After finding that a laboratory failed to show that it received a valid assignment of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a North Carolina federal judge on Dec. 7 dismissed its claims against a group of insurers in relation to allegedly unpaid amounts for services rendered (AvuTox LLC v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 5:17-CV-250, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201296).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Failure To Follow Remedies Procedures Dooms ERISA Health Insurance Suit

NEW YORK - A federal judge on Dec. 8 entered judgment for a health insurer in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case, finding that denials issued during the precertification process did not render any further attempts at administrative remedies futile where the plan specifically required an appeal from the explanation of benefits (Sandra A. Peppiatt v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-2444, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199895).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investor Group Named Lead Plaintiff In Drug Company's Stock Drop Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - An investor group is the most appropriate candidate for lead plaintiff because it has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all other statutory requirements to serve in the role, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 8 in appointing the investor group as lead plaintiff (Inchen Huang v. Depomed Inc., et al., No. 17-4830, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202580).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Supreme Court Will Review Application Of American Pipe Tolling Doctrine In Securities Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 announced that it will determine whether the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals properly ruled that American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolls the statute of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period (China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al., No. 17-432, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 4 Class Representatives Object To J.P. Morgan ERISA $75M Settlement

NEW YORK - Four class representatives in a New York federal lawsuit accusing J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging retirement savings funds filed an objection on Dec. 7 to a proposed $75 million cash settlement reached between eight of the class representatives and JPMC, arguing that the amount the class will actually receive is far less than the total class damages (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 12-2548, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Review 2nd Circuit's Offset Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 refused to review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that a New York law barring the offset of a claimant's disability benefits with the proceeds of the claimant's settlement of a personal injury suit is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Salvatore Arnone, No. 17-416, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 4 Class Representatives Object To J.P. Morgan ERISA $75M Settlement

NEW YORK - Four class representatives in a New York federal lawsuit accusing J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging retirement savings funds filed an objection on Dec. 7 to a proposed $75 million cash settlement reached between eight of the class representatives and JPMC, arguing that the amount the class will actually receive is far less than the total class damages (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 12-2548, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Had Duty To Defend Additional Insured Against Defects Claims

SALEM, Ore. - An insurer had a duty to defend an additional insured general contractor in an underlying construction defects case, an Oregon appeals panel ruled Dec. 6, reversing a trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Security National Insurance Co. v. Sunset Presbyterian Church, No. 588, Ore. App., 2017 Ore. App. LEXIS 1501).

Mealey's Insurance - U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Review 2nd Circuit's Offset Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 refused to review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that a New York law barring the offset of a claimant's disability benefits with the proceeds of the claimant's settlement of a personal injury suit is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Salvatore Arnone, No. 17-416, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Security Officer's Sexual Orientation Bias Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 declined to hear an appeal by a former hospital security officer seeking sexual orientation discrimination protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 17-370, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Supreme Court Will Review Application Of American Pipe Tolling Doctrine In Securities Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 announced that it will determine whether the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals properly ruled that American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolls the statute of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period (China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al., No. 17-432, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses All State Law Claims In 'Church Plans' Class Suit

CHICAGO - Plaintiffs' attempt to bring alternative claims under state law in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class suit that alleges that two defined-benefits plans were improperly classified as "church plans" creates an "absolute conflict," an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 5 dismissing the five state law claims (Sheilar Smith, et al. v. OSF Healthcare System, et al., No. 16-467, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199805).

Mealey's Health Law - Panel Says Plan Participant Could Recover Premiums If There Was A Plan Violation

ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 reversed and remanded a district court's dismissal of a health care plan participant's claim seeking to recover premiums paid under the plan after determining that a restitutionary claim for premiums under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act may be available if there was a violation of the plan's terms (CeCelia Catherine Ibson v. United Healthcare Services Inc., No. 16-3260, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24608).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses All State Law Claims In 'Church Plans' Class Suit

CHICAGO - Plaintiffs' attempt to bring alternative claims under state law in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class suit that alleges that two defined-benefits plans were improperly classified as "church plans" creates an "absolute conflict," an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 5 dismissing the five state law claims (Sheilar Smith, et al. v. OSF Healthcare System, et al., No. 16-467, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199805).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Panel Says Plan Participant Could Recover Premiums If There Was A Plan Violation

ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 reversed and remanded a district court's dismissal of a health care plan participant's claim seeking to recover premiums paid under the plan after determining that a restitutionary claim for premiums under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act may be available if there was a violation of the plan's terms (CeCelia Catherine Ibson v. United Healthcare Services Inc., No. 16-3260, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24608).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Defendants In Stock-Drop Suit Seek Dismissal Of Federal Securities Law Claims

HOUSTON - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a worldwide provider of professional services and technologies within the government services and hydrocarbons industries on Dec. 4 asked a federal judge in Texas to dismiss federal securities law claims because shareholders failed to plead a material misrepresentation, scienter of loss causation (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-1375, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pension Fund Found To Have Failed To Plead Falsity, Scienter In Securities Suit

CHICAGO - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit against a for-profit college and certain of its current and former senior executives is warranted because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead falsity or scienter in making its federal securities law claims against the defendants, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 6 in granting the defendants' motion (Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers v. DeVry Education Group Inc., et al., No. 16-5198, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200272).