Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

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

Mediation Confidentiality Statute Bars Malpractice Claim Where Breach Allegedly Occurred During Mediation

In Amis v. Greenberg Traurig LLP (No. B248447 - filed March 18, 2015), Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal held that a malpractice plaintiff cannot circumvent mediation confidentiality by advancing...more

Virtus Capital L.P. v. Eastman Chemical Co. et al., C.A. No. 9808-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 11, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this decision, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction brought by an individual that controlled the majority stockholders of a Delaware corporation, holding that the complaint...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

Ninth Circuit Opinion May Open Litigation Doors Most Thought Closed

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion charts potential new pathways for claims for damages resulting from portfolio losses by mutual fund shareholders against both a fund’s trustees and its investment adviser....more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Range Resources Case

On March 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court decided a case involving the duties owed to the non-executive holder of a nonparticipating royalty interest by both the executive rights holder and the lessee that negotiated the...more

Clarity For Calif. Negligent Emotional Distress Claims

The recent decision in Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co. provides greater clarity to the California rule permitting claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress by direct victims who do not suffer a physical...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

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed one new action this week – an administrative proceeding involving the principal of an investment adviser and undisclosed conflicts of interest. The Commission also amended a complaint in an insider trading...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

Update on Athletes’ 75-1.1 Lawsuits Against UNC

Last November, we posted on the putative class action that former UNC football player Michael McAdoo has filed against UNC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (3/15)

In its weekly order list, the Supreme Court of Texas issued four opinions and accepted a certified question from the Fifth Circuit. ...more

Federal Appellate Court Ruling Sounds the Liability Alarm for Officers and Directors of Struggling Health Care Providers – Both...

Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an important, 28-page opinion that confirmed a jury verdict, holding former officers and directors of a not-for-profit health care provider in...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

A Measle-ly Lawsuit: Can Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate their Children be Sued?

Yearning to leave the frozen wasteland of Dallas, Texas behind her if just for a moment, Penny McCrathy, an outspoken anti-vaccination advocate, took her unvaccinated children to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Not knowing...more

A novel question of duty – Philip Davison Sebry v Companies House and The Registrar of Companies

The Claimant, Philip Sebry, formerly Managing Director of Taylor & Sons Limited (‘Company’), brought a claim for damages for negligence and breach of statutory duty against Companies House and the Registrar of Companies...more

Delaware Independent Director Liability in Control Buyout Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court will address the standard for pleading that an independent director has breached fiduciary duties in connection with a controlling shareholder buyout. The issue was certified for interlocutory...more

Weavering: Appeal court judgment clears directors of wilful default

On 12 February 2015 the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal handed down its long-awaited judgment in Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Ltd v Peterson and Ekstrom. The case, which measured the liability of directors, sent...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Arbitration Clause In Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Case

This decision enforces an arbitration clause in an LLC agreement even when the claim asserted a breach of fiduciary duty. While not surprising in itself, the decision may also have broader implications about whether a...more

Dead Hand Provisions: A Lesson for Lenders from the Delaware Chancery Court

In Pontiac General Employees Retirement System v. Ballantine, et al., the Delaware Chancery Court refused to dismiss a claim against a lender for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty by the borrower’s directors. ...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

Nevada Supreme Court Finds No Jurisdiction In Suit By Nevada Client Against Texas Law Firm

In an opinion issued yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court considered whether a Nevada client had made the requisite prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction over its erstwhile Texas-based law firm.  Fulbright & Jaworski...more

“Frivolous” Merger Litigation Settlement Rejected by the Court

In an opinion that could help remedy the problem of baseless merger litigation, a court applying North Carolina law recently refused to approve a class action settlement because the underlying lawsuit was without merit. ...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Interrelationship Of Complaint Theories

This decision explains how various liability theories in a complaint relate to one another so as not to be duplicative. For example, a breach of fiduciary duty claim will be dismissed when it relies on the same facts as a...more

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