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Do Your Assignment of Benefits Clauses Need a Check-up? Recent Southern District of Florida Decision Highlights the Importance of...

A frequently litigated issue in reimbursement cases brought by in- and out-of-network healthcare providers against insurers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is provider standing. Because...more

Ownership of Social Media Accounts

It is becoming increasingly common for issues to arise relating to employer vs. employee ownership of a social media account and the names, addresses, etc. that go along with that account. Business-related social media...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

Supreme Court’s Amgen Order Confirms That Fifth Third Bancorp’s ERISA Stock-Drop Pleading Standard Has Teeth

In a recent per curiam order granting the plan fiduciaries’ petition for certiorari and reversing the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court made clear that it expects lower courts to faithfully apply the pleading...more

Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case Highlights Alternative Theories of Relief in Unfair Competition Case

Beginning in law school, attorneys are trained to learn from reported appellate cases, and that education never stops. In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case involving claims of unfair competition, Lyman v. Cellchem Int’l...more

"Director Compensation in the Spotlight"

Individuals serving on company boards of directors should carefully examine director compensation programs and decisions involving their own compensation following an April 30, 2015, ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery....more

New Great West case and Revenue Sharing

Add Great West under their Empower Retirement brand name as the latest bundled provider being sued. Great West is being sued for revenue sharing fees from mutual funds as part of their program....more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

The Vanguard 401(k) lawsuit won’t spark a return to actively managed funds

The Anthem class action lawsuit concerning the use of Vanguard index funds has caused a hullabaloo in the industry. IT even got a writer to pen an article suggested that the lawsuit may trigger a return to the use of actively...more

A 401(k) with Vanguard funds is sued, read beyond the headline

Headlines are great, but you need to read the entire article to get the full picture. There is a new class-action lawsuit that is pitting participants in the Anthem Inc. 401(k) plan, with more than $5 billion in assets,...more

Don’t make yourself a target

Sometimes if you don’t want to be a target, don’t make yourself to be a target. Insperity Inc. a provider of outsourced human resource and business management services to small and midsized businesses has been sued by...more

Sometimes It Might Not Be Worth It To Appeal The Denial Of A Preliminary Injunction

I don't think that it was worth it for TSG to appeal Judge Murphy's Order denying its Motion for a Preliminary Injunction on a covenant not to compete. That's true even though an injunction (though not on the covenant) was...more

Prudent is as Prudent Does: Divided Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of State Street in Post-Dudenhoeffer Review...

In 1995, the Third Circuit adopted the presumption that an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) fiduciary’s decision to remain invested in the employer’s securities was prudent. Over the following years, a number of other...more

Pennsylvania Still Requires Separate Consideration for Restrictive Covenant Agreements

In a much anticipated decision released on November 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania closed the door—if it was ever open—on any arguments doing away with the separate consideration required for restrictive covenant...more

Avoid Hiring Plan Providers Because They Were “Juiced In”

Novant Health, Inc. is a non-profit hospital system based in North Carolina and they agreed to pay $32 million in a settlement regarding a participant lawsuit against their 401(k) plan. What’s so odd about the case is that it...more

“Reasonable Suspicion” of Trade Secret Misappropriation Isn’t Always Enough

Though an employer may be eager to bring a trade secret claim against former employees as soon as possible, filing suit before properly vetting the claim can lead to serious consequences: a malicious prosecution case against...more

Turning the table on Whistleblowers: Alabama state court allows employer lawsuit to proceed against whistleblower

With whistleblower lawsuits on the rise, what options do companies have when faced with a whistleblower of their own. Can a company turn the table on a whistleblower who wrongfully accuses the company of bad...more

Employees and “Authorized Access”: A Threat from Within?

Workplace privacy has become an increasingly challenging issue for employees and employers alike. With technological advancements, employers have enhanced visibility into employee behavior including their use of company...more

Michigan Court Dismisses Cross-Claim as Insurer Not Properly Subject to a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

In Van Loo v. Cajun Operating Co, No. 14-cv-10604 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 17, 2015), the Eastern District of Michigan, a Sixth Circuit district court, held that the requirement for evidence of insurability was triggered based on...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Employers Must Periodically Review Investment Options In 401(k) Plans And Remove Imprudent Funds

An employer has fiduciary duties with respect to the 401(k) plan it provides its employees. Those duties include the obligation to choose prudent investment options and to consider the fees associated with service providers...more

Michigan Federal Court Rejects As Dicta Sixth Circuit’s Broad Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Interpretation

While employee Lehman was employed by Experian and allegedly subject to various employment covenants, he incorporated Thorium, a competitor. After Experian laid him off, he operated Thorium. Experian sued Lehman and Thorium...more

Plan Sponsor Forced to Restore Plan Benefits Due to Intentionally Misleading Communications to Employees

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision that emphasizes the importance of accurate communications to employees regarding changes in qualified retirement plan...more

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