Labor & Employment Business Torts

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En Banc Mississippi Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Adjuster and Employer on Bad Faith Claims Arising from...

Chapman v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., No. 2013-CA-01883-COA (Miss. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2015). Ruling en banc, court affirms grant of summary judgment for insurer, adjuster and employer on bad faith claims brought by former...more

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case From The Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information...more

All “Intentional Tort” Claims By Employees May Now Be Uninsurable

On March 12, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a decision in Hoyle v. DTJ Enterprises, Inc., holding that an insurance provision that excludes coverage for acts committed with the “deliberate intent to injure an...more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Protecting Trade Secrets Insufficient to Enforce Covenant Not to Compete in Any Capacity Worldwide - NanoMech, Inc. v. Suresh

Addressing the enforceability of a non-compete agreement to protect trade secrets, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a ruling finding that a non-compete agreement which prevented the employee from...more

Court Finds Lenders to Hedge Fund Not Liable as ERISA Fiduciaries

A federal court recently dismissed ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by Delphi Beta Fund, LLC, a hedge fund, against two of its bank lenders, because there was no precedent for applying ERISA’s fiduciary duties...more

Motor Carriers Are Liable For Injuries to Drivers of Leased Vehicles Who Are Classified As Independent Contractors

Jose Vargas v. FMI, Inc. et al. - In Vargas, California’s Second Appellate District held that the Privette doctrine does not shield a motor carrier operating under a federal franchise from liability for tort injuries...more

View From McDermott: 2014 ERISA Litigation Review–Decisions From the Supreme Court and Beyond

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a number of significant ERISA cases. In its 2013-14 term, the Supreme Court decided two ERISA-based appeals – Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer and Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc....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

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

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