Business Torts Updates

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Supreme Court Affirms Duty to Monitor Plan Investments

The Supreme Court’s decision will undermine a plan fiduciary’s ability to assert a statute of limitations defense based on when an investment option was added; rather, the six year statute of limitations will be measured from...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses $2.46 Billion Judgment in Securities-Fraud Class Action

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week reversed a $2.46 billion judgment in a long-running securities-fraud class action against Household International and granted a new trial on limited issues. The opinion...more

Exercising Registration Rights Did Not Violate Fiduciary Duties

Molycorp, Inc. is a publically traded Delaware corporation engaged in a the production and sale of rare earth oxides. Private equity investors held 44% of Molycorp’s stock, appointed certain directors and had demand...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Fiduciary Liability

In Tibble v. Edison International, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the scope of the duty of prudence owed by ERISA fiduciaries. Although ostensibly a case about the statute of limitations, the Court ruled that trustees of...more

Less Is More? Not when it comes to director compensation plans and effective shareholder ratification

Companies cannot merely rely upon shareholder approval to obtain protection under the business judgment rule. While the courts in Delaware do frequently apply the standard of waste to claims of breach of fiduciary duty and...more

Director Compensation After Calma v. Templeton: Proactive Steps to Consider

Delaware case exposes director compensation to heightened “entire fairness” standard absent adequate stockholder ratification - The Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided a case that makes it easier for plaintiffs...more

Northstar v. Schwab: The Ninth Circuit’s End Run Around Derivative Lawsuits in the Mutual Fund Context

It is well recognized that only investors have standing to sue a mutual fund on behalf of a class of investors and that a fiduciary duty claim accusing fund trustees of mismanagement is the property of the fund, and not of...more

Supreme Court Renders Good News-Bad News Whistleblower Decision

Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is good news and bad news for both whistleblowers and government contractors, including health care providers–a win for whistleblowers on one important issue, for contractors on...more

NJ Appellate Division Refuses Ascertainability Analysis in “Low-Value” Consumer Class Actions

Action Item: The New Jersey Appellate Division for the first time reviews the rapidly developing ascertainability doctrine and holds that the doctrine does not apply to low value consumer fraud class actions, setting the...more

SCOTUS: No Unlimited Suspension of the Statute of Limitations Under the False Claims Act; “First-to-File” Doctrine Does Not Bar...

In an opinion released May 26, 2015, Kellogg Brown & Roots Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that whistleblowers cannot extend the statute of limitations for war-related...more

Tailoring the Suit: Plaintiffs File Amended Complaint in Nordstrom Rack Price-Tag False Advertising Lawsuit

Nordstrom Rack has recently found itself at the center of an unwelcome suit over its labeling practices. Nordstrom Rack discloses the savings it offers customers by placing “compare at” labels on its price tags which show two...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

Tibble v. Edison International Decision Finds Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investments in 401(k) Plans

The Supreme Court holds that ERISA’s limitations period does not bar an alleged breach for failure to monitor a plan’s investments. Background - On May 18, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Tibble v....more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds that Creditor Plaintiffs in Derivative Suits May Satisfy Standing Requirement by Showing...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that a creditor plaintiff needs only establish that a corporation was...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on ERISA Fiduciary Duty Statute of Limitations Case Provides Broad Principle But Little Practical...

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Tibble v. Edison International, a highly anticipated case involving whether ERISA’s six year statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty claims prevented a claim...more

Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

Liability for Statements of Opinion–New Clarity from the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund resolved a clear split in the federal courts of appeal regarding when statements of opinion may give...more

Second Circuit Narrows Scope of SLUSA Preclusion

In In re Kingate Management Ltd. Litigation, No. 11-1397, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6725 (2d Cir. Apr. 23, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that in order for the Securities Litigation Uniform...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Paves Way for 401(k) Plan Lawsuits

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision that may pave the way for more lawsuits against ERISA plans alleging a breach of fiduciary duty regarding plan fees and choice of investment alternatives....more

Supreme Trouble with Tibble

While the Supreme Court ruled in the monumental 401(k) case Tibble v. Edison that mostly dealt with statute of limitations issues, one could read something into it a little more. Tibble was the case where the District...more

Supreme Court Rules on Plan Fiduciaries Duty to Monitor Plan Investments

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held on Monday, May 18, 2015, that a plan trustee has a continuing duty to adequately monitor plan investments and remove imprudent ones. Tibble v. Edison, Int’l, 2015 BL...more

Five Takeaways from the First Cyber Insurance Case

On May 11, 2015, in a case that is being widely celebrated as one of the first coverage rulings involving a “cyber” insurance policy, a federal court ruled that Travelers has no duty to defend its insured in Travelers...more

Pharmaceutical Marketing and Unfair-Trade-Practices Claims

Lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies generally center on product-liability claims. A new trend in pharma cases, however, is to include a different kind of claim: a claim for unfair trade practices....more

Supreme Court Ruling Heightens Pressure on Fiduciaries to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments

On May 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Tibble et al. v. Edison International et al., No. 13-550 (S. Ct. May 18, 2015) that ordinary principles of trust law impose on ERISA fiduciaries a duty to continually...more

Dismissal Of Securities Fraud Class Action Against Yahoo! Affirmed By Ninth Circuit

On May 15, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a putative securities fraud class action against Yahoo! In re: Yahoo! Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 11-cv-02732 (9th Cir. May 15, 2015). In 2011,...more

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