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Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy News - May 2015, Issue 2

In This Issue: - How Safe are the Bankruptcy Code Safe Harbors? - Stockton’s Chapter 9 Plan Approval - Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties of Insolvent Corporation Directors in Derivative...more

Blog: What States Should Know About the Civil Tort of Bribery

Who can be sued? A civil claim for bribery can usually be made against the bribe-payer and the bribe-recipient. When does it apply? The tort of bribery is founded on the legal relationship of principal (the state) and...more

General partner to pay $171 million for special committee’s failure to act in good faith: 2 key takeaways

In In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litigation, 2015 WL 1815846 (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster) issued a post-trial opinion finding that the general...more

ITC Affirms Joint and Several Liability of Counsel for Payment of Monetary Sanctions Based on Client's Spoliation of Evidence

On April 30, 2015, the International Trade Commission issued the public version of its opinion reviewing ALJ Thomas B. Pender’s Initial Determination in Investigation No. 337-TA-883, finding the Respondents in default due to...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

Court Of Chancery Awards Loser Fees

After years of litigating a breach of fiduciary duty case, the plaintiff won the battle but lost the war when the Court held that the defendants had breached their duties but there were no damages....more

CFPB: Military Allotment Processor to Pay More Than $3M

Why it matters - A military allotment processor will pay $3.065 million for charging servicemembers millions of dollars in hidden, recurring fees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced. Fort...more

Ninth Circuit Honors Canadian Business Law’s Exclusive Remedy Provision

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty brought under Section 242 of the Alberta Business Corporations Act (ABCA), finding that only an Alberta...more

Alert: Using Insolvency Powers to Make Claims for Fraud: Important Supreme Court Decision

Companies are habitually used as part of a corruption scheme. Such companies often have only a single director, or a small number of directors, and are beneficially owned by the wrong-doers....more

Texas Insurers: Don’t Forget ‘Excessive Demand Doctrine’

With the onslaught of recent hail and other weather related litigation, insurance carriers routinely see excessive and unreasonable settlement demands in statutorily required presuit notice letters. The “excessive demand...more

Update: New Measures Adopted by Quebec to Promote Integrity in Public Contracts

On April 1, 2015, the Act to Ensure Mainly the Recovery of Amounts Improperly Paid as a Result of Fraud or Fraudulent Tactics in Connection with Public Contracts (Act) received assent following its unanimous adoption by...more

California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether Attorneys’ Fees Are Charged to Health Care Liens

In the final days of its March term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in McVey v. M.L.K. Enterprises, LLC. McVey poses a question of considerable importance for tort litigation: must attorneys’ fees and costs...more

Illinois Court Holds No Duty to Defend Malicious Prosecution Suit

In Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. City of Waukegan, 2015 IL App (2d) 140293 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2015) the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, had occasion to consider when coverage for a malicious prosecution claim...more

CFPB announces settlement with processors of military allotments

The CFPB has announced a settlement with two companies that processed military allotments and were alleged to have charged fees to servicemembers that the companies failed to adequately disclose. The consent order requires...more

Uncharted Territory: Individual Settlements in Certified Class Actions

Despite the passage of more than 20 years since the enactment of Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992, there is limited jurisprudence on post-certification procedures. In his recent decision in Lundy v Via Rail Canada Inc,...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

More Class Actions Claim GAAP Violations, Less Paralleled by SEC Case

Last year the number of securities class action cases settled remained largely constant compared to the prior year, according to a report by Cornerstone Research. At the same time the number of cases alleging GAAP violations...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

Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...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

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