OAKLAND, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company relied on erroneous information in arguing that the company and certain of its senior executives concealed from investors certain adverse events observed in a phase III clinical trial for the company's hepatitis B drug in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 12 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re Dynavax Securities Litigation, No. 16-6690, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147760).
ATLANTA - Following credit monitoring and reporting firm Equifax Inc.'s Sept. 7 announcement of a massive data breach involving 143 million consumers and numerous consumer class action filings, a securities class action complaint was filed on Sept. 8 in Georgia federal court (Hampden Kuhns v. Equifax Inc., et al., N.D. Ga.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 11 refused to reconsider its finding that a woman was totally disabled under the terms of her Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed long-term disability plan and that the plan administrator did not satisfactorily supported its conclusion that she was ever capable of full-time work after November 2007 (Jill Marcin v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-7125, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17551).
NEWARK, N.J. - A health insurance plan's provision barring insureds from assigning rights leaves a provider pursuing its individual right to payment under state law and precludes removal and preemption under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a federal judge in New Jersey held Sept. 11 (Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics LLC v. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 17-536, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147466).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 found that a lower federal court did not err in striking two paragraphs of a plainitff's declaration filed in opposition to his former employer's motion for summary judgment in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit, further affirming the lower court's denial of the plaintiff's motion to alter or amend the judgment based on newly discovered evidence (Robert Liebman v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 16-17440, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17426).
NEW YORK - An investor has failed to show that an investment bank and two of its senior executives violated provisions of federal securities law by failing to adequately monitor the bank's internal controls in the wake of a former employees' massive securities fraud scheme, a federal judge in New York ruled on Sept. 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice (Gregory G. Barrett v. PJT Partners Inc., et al., No. 16-2841, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145781).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s ban on lifetime benefit maximums does not apply to retiree plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but the plan documents are sufficiently confusing to state a cause of action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Gary King, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, et al., No. 15-55880, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17387).
DES MOINES, Iowa - A pair of women may continue with their class action lawsuit claiming that their insurer violated the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by charging for lactation consultation services, but nothing in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires insurers to list such providers separately, and the sex discrimination claims fail as well, a federal judge in Iowa held Sept. 6 (Jillian York, et al. v. Wellmark Inc., et al., No. 16-627, S.D. Iowa).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A pension fund has shown that a financial institution and its former CEO's failure to disclose their connection to a convicted fraudster and Ponzi scheme operator were material and that the CEO acted with scienter in failing to disclose his ties to the fraudster, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 6 in denying the defendants' motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit (In re Banc of California Securities Litigation, No. 17-0118, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145361).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The U.S. government misled jurors by using a legally flawed definition of the term affiliate and its application to a conspiracy to commit securities fraud claim against former pharmaceutical company CEO and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli in his criminal case, which prejudiced the jury, requiring acquittal on the count, Shkreli argues in Sept. 8 post-trial motion for acquittal (United States of America v. Martin Shkreli, No. 15-637, E.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A shareholder in a securities class action lawsuit against Citigroup Inc. and others over their alleged issuance of misrepresentations regarding the financial institution's exposure to the subprime mortgage lending crisis has shown that he is entitled to $33,412.50 in attorney fees and expenses incurred as part of his objection to the distribution of settlement funds to three cy pres beneficiaries that were designated by class counsel, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 1 in granting the investor's motion (In re Citigroup Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-9901, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141719).
SEATTLE - Pharmaceutical company CTI BioPharma Corp. will pay $20 million to settle claims that it, its CEO and members of its board of directors and underwriters of two of the company's public offering of stock in 2015 concealed certain adverse information, including patient deaths, in the clinical trial results for CTI's myelofibrosis treatment drug pacritinib in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of a securities class action settlement filed by the lead plaintiff in the action on Sept. 1 in Washington federal court (In re CTI BioPharma Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-0216, W.D. Wash.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - On the heels of his ruling from the bench to limit the class definition for a securities class action lawsuit against a medical technology developer and certain of its current and former executive officers, a federal magistrate judge on Sept. 6 issued a written ruling explaining his decision to limit the class definition to including only "indirect" investors in the company's stock (Robert Colman, et al. v. Theranos Inc., et al., No. 16-6822, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 5 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a former pension plan administrator's claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because he is suing as a private individual and not a fiduciary, but vacated the dismissal of his state law claim against the chairman of the pension plan's administration committee, finding that the lower court erred in declining to exercise jurisdiction over the tort claim (Roberto Trujillo v. American Bar Association, et al., No. 16-3612, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17116).