KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Feb. 27 denied a defense motion to dismiss an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action alleging that American Century Services LLC charged excessive investment management and record-keeping fees for its 401(k) plan and filled the retirement plan with proprietary investment options for its own benefit, saying that the plaintiffs' allegations state a claim for breach of fiduciary duty (Steve Wildman, et al. v. American Century Services LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-00737, W.D. Mo.).
ATLANTA - Because a beneficiary seeking supplemental life insurance benefits for a plan participant's disability has an adequate remedy under Section 502(a)(1)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and failed to provide support for a separate breach of fiduciary duty claim, a Georgia federal judge on Feb. 27 dismissed the breach of fiduciary claim alleged against the plan (Stephanie D. Vaughn v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 16-1107, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26743).
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action has failed to show that a developer of educational entertainment for children and two of its executive officers acted with scienter in failing to report goodwill impairment for the second quarter of 2015, but the lead plaintiff has pleaded scienter regarding the defendants' failure to take certain write-offs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 24 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-0347, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26398).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 held that there is no genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether an insurance broker breached its implied contract to secure a total of $975,000 worth of federal flood insurance coverage for an insured, further finding that the amount of potential damages that the breach caused is in dispute (Hudson Henley v. Love Insurance Group, LLC, No. 15-3078, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26244).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 22 affirmed in part a Missouri federal judge's ruling that participants in the Anheuser-Busch Cos. Pension Plan are entitled to enhanced pension benefits, saying that a plan administrator cannot contradict the plain language of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan to deny benefits, but reversed and remanded for a calculation of benefits owed to individual class members (Brian Knowlton, et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Cos. Pension Plan, et al., No. 15-3538, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3115).
CINCINNATI - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit because shareholders failed to plead scienter and the defendants' alleged misleading statements were forward-looking and protected, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 21 in affirming (IBEW Local No. 58 Annuity Fund, et al. v. EveryWare Global Inc., et al., No. 16-3445, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2925).
NEW YORK - A group of London market reinsurers on Feb. 20 brought to the attention of a federal court in New York that the lead witness in a reinsurance arbitration has recently been convicted of conspiracy and securities and wire fraud (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's ruling in a dispute over excess coverage for a settlement demand in an underlying racial discrimination lawsuit against the city of Montebello, Calif. (Security National Insurance Co. v. City of Montebello, Nos. 15-56199 and 15-56263, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2965).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied a petition for writ of certiorari in a stock-drop case arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Alex E. Rinehart, et al. v. John F. Akers, et al., No. 16-562, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - After finding that a former marketing director's claims for coverage against a medical review company were completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 affirmed dismissal of the claims and found that a previous lawsuit filed against a plan administrator was the proper recourse (James Hackney v. Allmed Healthcare Management Inc., No. 16-5651, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2877).
NEWARK, N.J. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because a third-party's claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey ruled Feb. 17 (North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1544, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22710).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a computer security patent is obvious never should have been reached because the board erroneously determined that the invention at issue qualifies as a covered business method (CBM), a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 21 (Secure Axcess LLC v. PNC Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-1353, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2902).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The church plan exemption in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act unambiguously requires that a church plan be established by a church, the appellee-respondents in three cases consolidated before the U.S. Supreme Court say in their initial brief filed Feb. 16 (Advocate Health Care Network, et al. v. Maria Stapleton, et al., No. 16-74, Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al. v. Laurence Kaplan, No. 16-86, Dignity Health, et al. v. Starla Rollins, No. 16-258, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 515).
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain current and former executive officers over their alleged misrepresentations concerning their involvement in a generic drug price-fixing scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 15 (Greg Fleming v. Impax Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 16-6557, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22147).
HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).