Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Rural/Metro II: Additional Lessons for Financial Advisors, Directors and Counsel in M&A Transactions And Related Litigation

On October 10, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision awarding nearly $76 million in damages against a seller’s financial advisor. In an earlier March 7, 2014 opinion in the case, In re Rural/Metro Corp....more

Sixth Circuit Narrows Scope of Liability Under ICA Sections 36(a) and (b)

In Laborers’ Local 265 Pension Fund v. iShares Trust, No. 13-6486, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18627 (6th Cir. Sept. 30, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims alleging...more

MD&A Rules Do Not Create Rule 10b-5 Disclosure Obligation

The Ninth Circuit recently examined whether Item 303 of Regulation of S-K, which sets forth the MD&A rules, creates an affirmative duty of disclosure on which to pin a Rule 10b-5 case. The case centered around a significant...more

NJ Banks May Not Face Common Law Tort Claims for Improper Electronic Funds Transfers

The New Jersey Supreme Court in a matter of first impression held that a non-customer of a bank cannot bring a common law negligence claim against that bank for an improper money transfer via the Internet. In ADS Associates...more

Hedge Fund and its Partner and Lawyer Fail on Motion to Dismiss for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A case against a hedge fund, and one of its partners and in-house counsel, related to actions at a portfolio company and alleging breach of fiduciary duties survived a motion to dismiss. The portfolio company, alleged to be...more

Fourth Circuit Places Burden on Defendants to Disprove Loss Causation in Fiduciary Breach Cases

In Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, No. 13-1360 (August 4, 2014), a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that, if the plaintiff in an ERISA fiduciary breach case proves that the...more

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Private Action Under ’40 Act § 36(A)

Ruling in a case of first impression, the Sixth Circuit rejected an implied cause of action under Section 36(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-1 et seq. Although the Circuits remain split, recent...more

Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge Recommends That Plaintiff’s Claims Be Barred in Their Entirety by Application of the Doctrine of...

In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel, a Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation granting an individual disability insurer summary judgment on an insured’s claims...more

SEC Charges Private Equity Sponsor for Misallocation of Expenses on Integrated Portfolio Companies

The SEC charged a private equity sponsor with breaching its fiduciary duty to a pair of private equity funds by sharing expenses between a company in one’s portfolio and a company in the other’s portfolio in a manner that...more

Southern District of New York: It is Unlawful for an Insurer to Withhold Payment When Some Portion on an Insured’s Entitlement is...

Lexington Ins. Co. v. MGA Entm’t, No. 12-cv-3677 (SAS), 2014 WL 3955205 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 12, 2014). The Southern District of New York denies an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim that the insurer breached its...more

Leap of Bad Faith: TPAs May Be Sued for Aiding Their Own Actions

Insurers have a duty to process claims in good faith, but sometimes they farm the job out to third-party administrators (TPAs). If the TPA fouls up, many states hold that the insurer is still liable—for its own breach of...more

The Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Two Transactions Were Not Entirely Fair, but Awards No Damages Where the Prices of the...

On September 4, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued two lengthy post-trial opinions, both authored by Vice Chancellor John W. Noble, finding that recapitalization or restructuring transactions did not satisfy the...more

The Delaware Court Of Chancery Can See Forever On A Clear Day (Even To North Carolina)

I don't usually write about decisions from the Delaware Court of Chancery because it's rare for that Court to even mention North Carolina. But a decision by that Court this week -- in City of Providence v. First Citizens...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - September 2014 #1

In United States of America v. Estate of Robert Reitano, Civil Action No. 12-11944-RWZ, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123200 (D. Mass. Sept. 4, 2014), the federal district court issued a warning shot to estate fiduciaries who fail to...more

Breaking: Chancery Court Issues Decision on Claims Against Independent Directors in Controlling Stockholder Transactions

Delaware decisional law on entire fairness review of controlling shareholder transactions has been complicated in part by the subtle distinction between facially disinterested directors (who are liable only where a specific,...more

“So What?”: Montana’s Supreme Court Turns a Deaf Ear to Insurers Charged With Breaching the Duty to Defend

Earlier this year, in K2 Investment Group v. American Guaranty & Liability Ins. Co., 983 N.Y.S.2d 761 (N.Y. 2014), New York’s highest court adopted—but then decided against—a rule under which a liability insurer that has...more

First Circuit Confirms No Fiduciary Breach in Use of a Retained Asset Account

For the second time this summer, the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether an ERISA fiduciary’s use of a retained asset account (“RAA”) to pay death benefits is a breach of fiduciary duty. In Merrimon v. Unum Life...more

Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in...more

What Does Delaware’s Wal-Mart Decision Mean for the Attorney-Client Privilege and Internal Investigations?

The Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW, No. 614, 2014 Del. LEXIS 336, 2014 WL 3638848 (July 23, 2014), a Section 220 “books and records” case...more

LLC Managers Beware: Get Involved With Member Distributions By an Insolvent LLC and You May Be Personally Liable

A chapter 7 trustee sued a manager of three limited liability company (LLC) debtors for breach of fiduciary duty and to hold the manager personally liable for distributions made to members, including himself....more

Fiduciary Duties in the Context of Dent v. Ramtron Int’l Corp.

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently addressed a number of claims commonly made in the “ubiquitous” stockholder litigation that follows announcement of a public merger or acquisition transaction. In Dent v. Ramtron Int’l...more

When Winding Up A Corporation Don't Do This

I don't know any lawyers who specialize in winding up corporations, but if any of you are out there, you should read this post. It is important to remember, when winding up a corporation, that "principals and directors...more

Corporations Don't Independently Owe Fiduciary Duties to Stockholders

On Aug. 7, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III issued a letter opinion in the matter Buttonwood Tree Value Partners LP v. R.L. Polk & Co., C.A. No. 9250-VCL, that is not attention-grabbing because it wrestles with some nuanced...more

7th Circuit Holds Excess Insurer Has No Duty to Indemnify Punitive Damages

In its recent decision in Fox v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12799 (7th. Cir. July 7, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, applying Illinois law, had occasion to consider...more

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