Labor & Employment Business Torts

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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

Split Decision on Ormat’s Motion to Dismiss Ex-Employees’ Claims of Cash Grant Fraud

The opinion of March 24 from the U.S. District Court for Nevada granted in part and denied in part Ormat’s motion to dismiss an action brought by ex-Ormat employees under the False Claims Act. The ex-employees are alleging...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

Attorney Who Set Up and Administered VEBA and Welfare Benefit Plans Found Liable Under ERISA

SUMMARY: Defendants set up over 500 multiple-employer death benefit plans with entities they controlled acting as the trustees. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) brought a civil action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and...more

Second-Place Bidder On Public Works Contract Could Proceed With Tortious Interference Claim

Between 2009 and 2012, American Asphalt South, Inc. (“American”) outbid Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. (“Allan”) or Doug Martin Contracting, Inc. (“Martin”) on 23 public works contracts totaling more than $14.6 million to apply...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

2014 in Review: ERISA Civil and Criminal Enforcement Activity by DOL Is Trending Upward

The Fact Sheet recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) documenting Fiscal Year 2014 civil and criminal enforcement activity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) showed...more

Fiduciary Breach Claim Based On Oral Representation Can Proceed

A federal district court in New Jersey held that oral misrepresentations may support a breach of fiduciary duty claim under ERISA. Plaintiff Richard Lees was hired by American Re–Insurance Company, although he was paid by...more

Second Circuit Vacates Class Certification Order, Applying Various State’s Laws Precludes Finding Of Predominance And Superiority

The Second Circuit vacated a class certification order issued by the Southern District of New York, finding that Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance and superiority requirements could not be met given the necessity of applying 27...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

Insights and Strategies on Class Action Litigation from General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers [Video]

To read the full 2015 Class Action Survey report, please visit ClassActionSurvey.com. Across industries, companies spent $2 billion on class action lawsuits in 2014, slightly less than the $2.1 billion they spent in 2013....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

Breaching Fiduciary Cannot Seek Equitable Indemnity from Another Fiduciary

A California federal district court dismissed a plan fiduciary’s equitable indemnity claim because such claims are not available to a breaching fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiff William Brown commenced a putative class action...more

Delinquent Contributing Employer May Be Fiduciary

The Second Circuit held that the owner of a contributing employer to multiemployer benefit plans breached his fiduciary duties by failing to make required contributions and was thus personally liable for the delinquencies,...more

District of Arizona: Employee’s Intentional, Incorrect, and Unreasonable Handling of Claim Subjects Insurer to Finding of Bad...

Haney v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., No. CV-13-02429-PHX-DGC, 2015 WL 58670 (D. Ariz. Jan. 5, 2015). District of Arizona: Court grants partial summary judgment on bad faith claim for failure of insurer to make retroactive...more

Seller Beware: Eighth Circuit Finds Insurer Potentially Liable for Enrollment Mistakes of Employer

In Silva v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 762 F.3d 711 (8th Cir. 2014), the Eighth Circuit joined a number of other circuits in recognizing equitable remedies of reformation and surcharge based on a breach of fiduciary...more

Tibble Supreme Court Argument: Fiduciaries Must Monitor Investments

Section 413 of ERISA provides in general that no action for breach of fiduciary duty may be brought after the earlier of: (1) six years after (A) the date of the last action which constituted a part of the breach, or (B) in...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

"Securities Litigation Developments Largely Expected to Shift From SCOTUS to District and Circuit Courts in 2015"

As observed in the 2014 edition of Insights, the Supreme Court stood poised last term to resolve a number of noteworthy issues with the potential to affect the securities litigation landscape. In Chadbourne & Parke, LLP v....more

Employers' Motive No Longer a Basis for Tortious Interference

The Utah Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling last week that significantly changes tortious interference law, requiring the plaintiff to show a wrongful act to pursue a claim. The decision in Eldridge v. Johndrow partially...more

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