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May Court Decision Round-Up

Nedschroef Detroit Corp. v. Bemas Ents. LLC, Case No. 14-10095, 2015 WL 2453511 (E.D. Mich. May 22, 2015). U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Nedschroef Detroit Corp...more

Third Circuit Adopts Catalyst Theory in ERISA Cases for Attorney Fee Awards

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), “the court in its discretion may allow a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs of action to either party.” The discretion of a court to award fees is not...more

Ameriprise Agrees to Pay $27.5 Million to Settle Fiduciary Breach and Prohibited Transaction Claims

Defendants Ameriprise Financial, Inc., the fiduciary committees of the Ameriprise 401(k) plan, and individual committee members agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a class of participants in the Ameriprise 401(k) plan for...more

Settlement Reached in Stock-Drop Case

A class of former LandAmerica Financial Group employees agreed to a $5 million settlement of stock-drop claims arising from LandAmerica’s 2008 bankruptcy, and have submitted the agreement for court approval. LandAmerica filed...more

Ameriprise Avoids Trial On Class Action Suit By Current and Former Employees With $27.5 Million Payment

In 2011, a group of current and former employees filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court of Minnesota claiming that Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and members of its 401(k) Plan fiduciary committee had breached their...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

Disgorgement of Profits Not Available for Arbitrary and Capricious Benefits Denial – This Time

Wrongful denial of employee benefits will not expose plan fiduciaries to equitable remedies – such as disgorgement of profits – where restoration of benefits is adequate to make the claimant whole, says the Sixth Circuit in...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Claim that Disgorgement of Profits Is Appropriate Remedy in ERISA Benefit Denial Action

On March 5, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc in the matter of Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 2015 WL 925794 (6th Cir. Mar. 5, 2015), reversed the finding of a prior...more

SEC Awards $500K to Company Officer Whistleblower

On Monday, March 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will award between $475,000 and $575,000 to a corporate officer who reported “high quality, original information” about a securities fraud....more

ERISA: 6th Circuit — Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz: Oh What A RELIEF It Is: No Disgorgement For Arbitrary Denial Of Benefits

Does an arbitrary and capricious denial of ERISA governed disability benefits create a right to disgorgement of profits? NO....more

Revisiting Rochow: The Sixth Circuit Rejects Earlier $3.8 Million Equitable Award in Recent En Banc Decision

Just over a year ago, a panel decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 737 F.3d 415 made big news when the court upheld the district court’s award of $3.8 million in...more

Sixth Circuit Overturns the Lower Court’s Award of $3.8 Million in Alleged Profits Arising From a Denial of Benefits

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, has overturned the decision of a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel which had affirmed the district court’s award of $3.8 million of “disgorged” profits,...more

Has the "Inevitable Disclosure" Doctrine Found a Foothold in North Carolina?

Twenty years ago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in PepsiCo, Inc. v. Redmond, 54 F.3d 1262 (7th Cir. 1995) advanced the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine in trade secret misappropriation cases. The doctrine essentially...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

Ninth Circuit Breathes Life Into Participant’s Claim for Surcharge

A panel of the Ninth Circuit withdrew its earlier opinion and has now joined other circuits in finding that the equitable remedy of surcharge is available for participants seeking recovery of personal losses as opposed to...more

Arizona Supreme Court Holds the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act Does Not Preempt Tort Claims Based on Misappropriation of...

On November 19, 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Orca Communications Unlimited, LLC v. Noder that the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act (AUTSA) does not preempt common law tort claims for misappropriation of...more

Blog: Study Shows Whistleblower Complaints Lead To Increased Penalties And Likelihood Of Enforcement

An academic study, first reported by the WSJ, concludes that, in regulatory enforcement actions brought by the SEC and DOJ alleging financial misrepresentation, employee whistleblowers have a consequential impact on...more

New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division rules that physicians’ damages for breach of contract with hospital are limited to...

The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division recently ruled that the damages a physician-independent contractor can recover are limited to those sustained during a notice period in the physician’s contract. The decision...more

Summer Fraud and Abuse Roundup

The federal government was busy over the summer when it came to decisions and settlements under the Stark Law, anti-kickback law and federal False Claims Act. This article revisits recent developments with respect to...more

Court Draws Line Against Union Hotel Boycotts: National Labor Relations Act Bans "Secondary Boycotts"

A recent decision of the federal appeals court in Chicago gave hotel operators some welcome protection against union-organized boycotts arising from a labor dispute. In that case, 520 S. Michigan Ave. Associates, Ltd. v....more

Interfere at Your Own Risk: Legal Fees Awarded as Damages for Violating A Non-Compete Agreement

We all know the default American Rule for attorneys’ fees: unless you get fees in a contract or from a statute, you shouldn’t count on someone else paying the freight if you win your case. But a recent non-compete case brings...more

What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company....more

DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

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