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District Court in Fourth Circuit Rejects Extension of Amara-like Remedies to Benefit Cases

The Honorable Martin Reidinger, sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, declined Plaintiff’s invitation to extend the applicability of Cigna v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), to...more

ERISA ATTORNEY FEES – 1st Circuit: Court Remand to Claims Administrator “because the record is insufficient for de novo review” is...

You have seen this issue before: The court remands the ERISA-governed long term disability claim for further consideration by the claims administrator because the administrative record was insufficient for de novo review....more

Maryland Employers Can Be Liable for up to Treble Damages for Misclassification "Overtime Pay" Claims Under State Law

On August 13, 2014, the Maryland Court of Appeals held in Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc. that employers can be held liable under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law ("Wage Payment Law" or MWPCL) for all...more

Court of Appeals Rejects Mandatory Treble Damages Under Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last week, in the case of Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., the Court of Appeals had another opportunity to reflect on the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) and specifically discuss the application of...more

Cherry-Picking: 7th Cir. Criticizes Lawyers' Summary-Judgment Practice

Two weeks ago, in an order given wide publicity nationally, federal District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa issued sanctions in Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories, addressing what Judge Bennett...more

SEC Waives Whistleblower Eligibility Requirements to Issue $400,000 Award

On July 31, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a $400,000 whistleblower award to an individual who provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC’s...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

SEC Waives Rule and Reverses Course to Grant Whistleblower Windfall

In August 2013 the SEC whistleblower claims review staff issued a preliminary determination and recommended a whistleblower claim be denied. Although the record demonstrated that the claimant provided original information to...more

S.D.N.Y. Issues Spoliation Sanctions Against Foot Locker

The sanctions recently levied against Foot Locker serve as a potent reminder that understanding data and document preservation requirements is imperative. A New York federal judge issued sanctions against Foot Locker last...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

IP Newsflash - July 2014 #2

New Nautilus Indefiniteness Standard Justifies Submission of Expert Evidence at Markman Hearing - The court granted defendants' motion to supplement their claim construction briefing with an expert declaration...more

White Collar Watch - July 2014

In This Issue: - Move over Big Pharma: Health care is not the only industry susceptible to False Claims Act scrutiny - Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract...more

Recent Ontario Decision Casts Doubt on Statutory Severance Pay Threshold

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). In addition, employees with five years of service or more...more

False claims by any other name: Medtronic and Omnicare cases illustrate the interplay between the False Claims Act and other...

- Government allegations of Medtronic’s alleged incentives to physicians for prescribing its medical devices lead company, while denying wrongdoing, to settle False Claims Act suit predicated on Anti-Kickback...more

Fifth Circuit: FCA Inapplicable to Claims Involving Private Funds Administered by Government-Created Programs

In United States of America ex rel Rene Shupe v. Cisco Systems, Inc. and Avnet, Inc., No. 13-40807 (5th Cir. July 7, 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying a motion to dismiss a qui tam...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

The Mistaken Fiduciary: Can You Correct Overpayments to U.S. Retirees?

Even the best run pension plans occasionally pay retirees the wrong amount due to errors in employee classification, or calculating participant service or compensation. Correcting underpayments is easy enough – though it is...more

Duran v. U.S. Bank: When Class Certification Goes Wrong

The California Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark decision on class actions. The trial judge lost control of the certification and evidentiary presentation of the case resulting in a $15 million verdict against...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Enforceability of FLSA Collective Action Waivers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request to review the issue of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act grants employees a non-waivable right to bring a collective action and thus, renders arbitration agreements with...more

Employers Fight Back Against Whistleblowers

In 2013, the federal government recovered $3.8 billion from settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (FCA). Whistleblowers—also called “relators”—can recover up to 30 percent of whatever a defendant pays in a...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Monetary “Make-Whole” Relief Is Not Available Absent Loss to Plan or Unjust Enrichment for Defendant...

A Ninth Circuit panel recognized that reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge were among the “appropriate equitable relief” potentially available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA (following dictum in CIGNA Corp. v....more

Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Lawsuit Backfires!

We recently reported on good things (big verdicts) coming to trade secret plaintiffs that endure lengthy lawsuits. But good things don’t always come to those who wait. ...more

Court Awards Fees And Costs Against USDOL

A Texas federal court has ordered the U.S. Labor Department to pay more than $560,000 in attorney's fees, paralegal fees, and travel expenses growing out of litigation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. USDOL...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

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