SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 3 ruled that a federal district court did not err in dismissing federal securities law claims against a company, several of its current and former officers and directors and underwriters of the company's initial public offering (IPO) because investors failed to properly plead any material misrepresentations or scienter in making their claims (Cliff Mosco, et al. v. Motricity Inc., et al., No. 13-36029, 9th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey judge erroneously ruled that various out-of-network (ONET) medical providers lack standing to sue the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. and affiliated entities (CIGNA, collectively) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for benefits allegedly owed to their assignors, pursuant to the recent ruling in North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna, Inc. (801 F.3d 369, 372 [3rd Cir. 2015]) (NJBSC), the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded May 2 in an unpublished ruling (Darlery Franco, et al. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 14-3395, -3396, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7886).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit and denying reconsideration of its ruling because shareholders properly pleaded a material misrepresentation, scienter and loss causation in making their federal securities law claims, the shareholders argue in an appellant brief filed May 2 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Joseph Curry, et al. v. Yelp Inc., et al., No. 16-15104, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge did not err in dismissing federal securities laws claims against defendants in a securities class action lawsuit because shareholder claims were time-barred under the applicable statute of repose, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 29 (DeKalb County Pension Fund v. Transocean Ltd., et al., No. 14-0894, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 2 declined review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming a federal district court's ruling that denied a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit based upon the damages methodology used (Robert Ludlow, et al. v. BP PLC, No. 15-952, U.S. Sup.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Connecticut on April 28 that Connecticut's prepleading security statute was not intended to protect corporations not associated with the state (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
ST. LOUIS - The plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation against the operator of AshleyMadison.com related to a July 2015 breach of the adult dating website's network may not use or refer to documents stolen from Avid Dating Life Inc. in the computer hack of its database when filing the plaintiffs' consolidated complaint, a Missouri federal judge ruled April 29 (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-2669, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57619).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on April 27 granted a shareholder's motion for reconsideration of an earlier ruling dismissing the shareholder's amended complaint, ruling that the shareholder properly pleaded a material misrepresentation and scienter in making its federal securities law claims (Santokh Sohol v. Ellis Yan, et al., No. 15-0393, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56049).
TRENTON, N.J. - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a shareholder failed to plead any material misstatements or omissions in making his claims against a drug company and certain of its current and former executive officers, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 26 (In re Amarin Corp. PLC Securities Litigation, No. 13-6663, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55568).
DETROIT - Claims by a Native American tribe that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by overbilling the tribe for services rendered as third-party administrator for tribal members' health care claims survived a motion to dismiss April 27 when a federal judge in Michigan found that the tribe alleged sufficient facts to establish a right to relief on its ERISA claims (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 15-13708, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55866).
CHICAGO - Participants in a "massively underfunded" multiemployer defined benefit pension plan filed suit April 25 against the plan's trustees in Illinois federal court, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Doris Campbell, et al. v. Charles A. Whobrey, et al., No. 16-4631, N.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of April 26 filings in California federal court, the putative class representatives in a suit over a breach of Anthem Inc.'s network opposed motions to dismiss by Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS), arguing that they have sufficiently pleaded facts to support breach and negligence claims and have satisfied standing requirements (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02617, N.D. Calif.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Allegations that various fiduciaries violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by permitting the Eastman Kodak Employees' Savings and Investment (SIP) and Kodak Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) (collectively, the plans) to offer Kodak stock as an investment option even after an objective investigation would have revealed that the stock represented an "extremely risky investment" are on the cusp of resolution with a settlement agreement, according to an April 22 motion filed by the plaintiffs (In re: Eastman Kodak ERISA Litigation, No. 12-6051, W.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Following a bench trial that ended with findings that two defendants breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a New York federal judge on April 21 awarded the prevailing plaintiffs $2.6 million in attorney fees and costs (Severstal Wheeling Inc. Retirement Committee v. WPN Corporation, et al., No. 10-954, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53563).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 denied review of a securities broker's appeal of a Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judge's (ALJ) ruling holding him liable for violations of federal securities laws in which the broker sought determination as to whether the ALJs are unconstitutional (Gordon B. Pierce v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 15-907, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting judgment in favor of a pension plan and its administrators in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits because the plaintiff was unable to independently provide key information about corporate structures or hours worked needed to substantiate his claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7216).
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on April 19 affirmed summary disposition in favor of a hotel in a premises liability action, finding that the hotel satisfied its limited duty of care to a man who was injured on the premises when a hotel employee called the police to report that the man had been assaulted by a security guard during an event at the hotel (Tamer Alwerfalli v. Livho, Inc., d/b/a/ Holiday Inn Detroit Livonia Conference Center d/b/a Radisson Hotel Detroit Livonia, and Terrill Hicks, No. 324827, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 746).
BOSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded a material misrepresentation, scienter and loss causation in making their federal securities law claims, the lead plaintiffs argue in an April 18 opposition brief (William M. Cody, et al. v. ConforMIS Inc., et al., No. 15-13295, D. Mass.).