Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Court: Derivative Claims Allowed to Be Asserted as Part of Merger Attack

It is well-settled under Delaware law that in a merger a stockholder loses standing to assert a purely derivative claim. That claim passes instead to the acquiring company. As an asset of a Delaware company, derivative claims...more

Court Of Chancery Determines Fee In A Transitory Property Case

When a derivative suit is settled in connection with a merger that cashed out minority stockholders, it makes sense to have the settlement proceeds go to those stockholders in proportion to their ownership....more

Court Of Chancery Dismisses Merger Litigation Under The Corwin Doctrine

This decision applies the Corwin doctrine to dismiss a suit attacking a merger that received stockholder approval. It explains that approval by a fully-informed, uncoerced majority of disinterested and independent...more

What’s Happening in Delaware M&A – Summer 2016

This update provides a summary of recent Delaware caselaw and statutory developments concerning mergers and acquisitions, including new cases regarding appraisal rights, fraud claims and fiduciary duty and deal process...more

Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

In re Volcano Corporation Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 10485-VCMR (Del. Ch. June 30, 2016) (Montgomery-Reeves, V.C.).

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duty under Chancery Rule 12(b)(6), holding that an irrebuttable business judgment rule standard applies to a merger effected under...more

Environmental, Social and Governance Factors: Does Failure to Consider ESG Issues Constitute a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Changes made to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act and Regulation (the “Ontario PBA”), which came into force on January 1, 2016, now require a pension plan’s statement of investment policies and procedures (“SIPP”) to include...more

Under Attack: ERISA Class-Action Lawyers Target Colleges and Universities

Class-action lawyers have begun targeting retirement savings plans offered by a number of colleges and universities across the country. These lawsuits are founded in claims of ERISA breaches of fiduciary duty - alleging the...more

Insurer Can Breach Duty by Refusing to a Modification of a Release

Insurer Can Breach Duty by Refusing to a Modification of a Release Woodland hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg analyzes insurance company obligations particularly involving ‘Releases.” Mr. Goldberg recently...more

Colleges and Universities Targeted in Class Action Lawsuits over Operation of Retirement Plans

Multiple class action lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages were filed last week against eight nonprofit universities challenging the administration of their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits, which were all...more

Delaware Law Updates – Court of Chancery Puts Boards of Directors on Notice that Contracting Away Derivative Claims in a Merger...

Vice Chancellor Glasscock has held that a merger designed to eliminate derivative claims against a majority of directors justified the application of the entire fairness standard of review in a direct challenge to the merger....more

Higher ed braces for flood of lawsuits over retirement plans

Numerous colleges and universities sponsor retirement plans—both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC)—to provide retirement income security for their employees. But recently a number of higher education...more

Obeid v. Hogan, C.A. No. 11900-VCL (Del. Ch. June 10, 2016) (Laster,VC)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that it was an improper abdication of authority for the board of directors of a Delaware limited liability company that had adopted the governance structure of a...more

ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Higher Education Institutions

Several ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class actions involving allegedly excessive retirement plan fees were filed this week against higher education institutions including colleges, universities, and medical schools. The...more

Can a Third Party Sue an Insurer for Unfair Trade Practices?

Can a third party use N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 to sue an insurer based on an insured’s misdeeds? A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court answers with a qualified “no.” North Carolina law has usually barred...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reaffirms Four-Corners Rule for Insurers’ Duty to Defend

An insurer’s decision whether to defend a lawsuit against its insured can be a critical issue involving tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars for Wisconsin companies who are sued. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently...more

Chancery Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Fiduciary Duty Claims Where Directors Approved Merger That Extinguished Threatened...

On July 28, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that stockholders of Riverstone National, Inc. had adequately stated a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the company's directors who approved a merger that...more

Corporate Law & Governance Update - August 2016

The Hershey Governance Settlement - On Friday, July 29, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Hershey Trust Company and the Milton Hershey School, entered into a written settlement resolving an investigation conducted...more

Delaware Chancery Court Finds that Director Defendants Can Not “Merge Their Way Out of” Breach of Fiduciary Claims

On July 28, 2016, the Delaware Chancery Court allowed claims of unfair dealing against the Board of property management company Riverstone National Inc. to survive where the directors facilitated a merger that forestalled a...more

Steak And A Small Kickback — An Insider Trading Personal Benefit

What constitutes a personal benefit that results in a breach of duty for insider trading may be resolved by the Supreme Court in the coming term when U.S. v. Salman, 792 F. 3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2015) is decided. In the meantime...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

Court Affirms Order Requiring Partition of Property Where Fiduciary’s Homestead Argument Failed

In Byrom v. Penn, Byrom was appointed executor of his mother’s estate, and he was later removed as executor for breach of fiduciary duty by using estate funds to build a house for himself. No. 12-15-00033-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

Bankruptcy Court Rejects Unfair-Practices Claim Against Insurer Accused of Aiding and Abetting Conversion of Trust Funds

A recent decision reminds us that North Carolina’s bankruptcy courts often rule on claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In re NC & VA Warranty Co. was an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy of a warranty company....more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In the Matter of Estate of Leon C. Chamberlain, 135 A.D.3d 1052 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 7, 2016) - Modification of trust terms is appropriate where limitations on investments permitted under trust instrument frustrated the...more

Arbitrator to Decide Arbitrability of Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim

In Angus v. Ajio, C.A. No. 11895-VCG (Del. Ch. May 13, 2016), the plaintiffs sought to enjoin an arbitration initiated against them as officers of MoGo Sport. In the arbitration, certain members of the company (who were...more

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