Equitable Estoppel

News & Analysis as of

Court Grants Motion For Partial Judgment On The Pleadings In RESPA Class Action Regarding Private Mortgage Insurance

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Judge Castel Rejects Laches and Equitable Estoppel Defenses

Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s first amended complaint based on the affirmative defenses of laches and equitable estoppel. The patents-in-suit are U.S Patent Nos. 7,980,095 (“Jewelry method and system”) and 8,479,536...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

Take Off Every Zig: The Risk in Tesla’s “All Our Patent Are Belong to You” Message

With a title parodying a classic Internet meme, Elon Musk announced on June 12, 2014, that “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Musk plans to continue...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Monetary “Make-Whole” Relief Is Not Available Absent Loss to Plan or Unjust Enrichment for Defendant...

A Ninth Circuit panel recognized that reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge were among the “appropriate equitable relief” potentially available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA (following dictum in CIGNA Corp. v....more

Ninth Circuit Uncharacteristically Takes the Lead in Limiting Plaintiffs' Rights to Recover for Breach of Fiduciary Duty under...

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized, for the first time, that some forms of equitable relief could lead to an award of a monetary payment for breach of fiduciary duty under section 502(a)(3) of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. section...more

Plaintiff’s Claim for Estoppel, Reformation and Surcharge Strikes Out

A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit recently held that plaintiff Gregory Gabriel could not recover, as “appropriate equitable relief,” pension benefits he thought he was owed from the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, after...more

Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. - United States Supreme Court, May 19, 2014: Resolving circuit split concerning applicability of laches to copyright claims, U.S. Supreme Court reverses Ninth Circuit ruling that...more

Equity – Establishing the Elements of Equitable Tolling and Equitable Estoppel

Linda Hopkins v. Jurek Kedzierski as Trustee, etc., et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (April 16, 2014) - Under the principle of equitable tolling, a statute of limitations will not bar a claim...more

Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Attempt to Prevent Plan from Recouping $250,000 Overpayment

A federal district court in the Northern District of California dismissed an equitable estoppel claim brought by a pension-plan participant seeking to prevent the plan from recouping an overpayment. See Groves v. Kaiser...more

4th Circuit Holds Insurer Not Equitably Estopped From Denying Coverage

In an unpublished opinion, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a South Carolina District Court judge’s finding that an insurer was equitably estopped from denying coverage to a new owner of the insured business for a...more

Reinsurance Redux - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - New York District Court Grants Summary Judgment for Reinsurer Where Insured’s Loss Did Not Reach Attachment Point Necessary to Trigger Coverage: The United States District Court for the Southern...more

Recent Case Opens Door to Civil Enforcement Claims for Negligent FICA Tax Withholding

A District Court in Eastern Michigan recently rejected a motion to dismiss a participant’s benefit claim, holding that an employer legally could be liable to a participant in a nonqualified deferred compensation plan when the...more

Courts Stopping Non-Signatories From Compelling Arbitration Through Equitable Estoppel

Now that we know the Supreme Court is not going to be addressing non-signatories’ ability to compel arbitration this term (at least not in the Toyota case), we can take a moment to look at what lower courts are doing with...more

Can Employer Who Has Granted Employee's FMLA Request Dispute Employee's FMLA Eligibility?

An employee sends an email to her manager requesting FMLA leave to care for her father "while he deals with issues surrounding his terminally ill brother." The supervisor writes back, "Approved," and the employee takes...more

Sixth Circuit: Plan Fiduciary Reasonably Relied On Benefit Calculations In Communicating To Participant

The Sixth Circuit recently rejected a participant’s claim that a benefit estimate should override the specific benefit promised under the terms of the plan. In Stark v. Mars Inc., No. 12-3956, 2013 WL 1908889 (6th Cir. May 9,...more

Bill on Bankruptcy: Kodak Plan Bumps the Debt, Craters Stock  [Video]

May 2 (Bloomberg Law) -- Eastman Kodak Co. filed a Chapter 11 plan that cratered the stock and bumped up the unsecured notes, although the plan may be revised to pay off second-lien debt fully in cash, as Bloomberg Law's Lee...more

Intellectual Property Newsletter - March 2013

*News from the Bench: - First Sale Doctrine Applies To Copyrighted Works Lawfully Made Abroad. - Dissenting Federal Circuit Judges Abide By The Akamai Standard. - More On Joint Infringement and The Akamai...more

Federal Circuit Draws the Equitable Estoppel Line Before a CIP Patent

In Radio Systems Corp. v. Lalor, the Federal Circuit held that equitable estoppel barred Bumper Boy’s infringement charges based on one patent, but did not preclude infringement charges based on a continuation-in-part (CIP)...more

Eighth Circuit Rules Equitable Estoppel Doctrine Cannot Be Used to Compel Non-Signatories to an Arbitration Agreement into...

Arbitration in the context of antitrust class action litigation continues to be a front and center issue for the federal appeals courts. (See this blog’s discussion of a Third Circuit decision from late last year, In re...more

Non-Signatories Lose In Two Federal Circuits When Trying To Enforce Arbitration

Two federal circuit courts recently reversed district court decisions allowing non-signatories to compel arbitration. The analysis emphasizes that for a defendant to prove equitable estoppel compels arbitration, the...more

Misrepresentation Law and Insurance Coverage In South Carolina

1. The Claim - An insurer may use the alleged misrepresentations and/or omissions of an insured in the life, health and disability insurance application process in two ways: (i) affirmatively, by seeking rescission of...more

Prevailing Party Attorney Fee Award Is Granted Based On Successful Affirmative Defense Raised In Answer

In Windsor Pacific LLC v. Samwood Co. Inc., 2013 DJDAR 1292 (2013), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District decided a novel attorney fee issue arising out of hotly contested litigation, pertaining to...more

Prius Owners Put The Brakes On Arbitration With Non-Signatory Toyota

The Ninth Circuit ruled this week that a class of car owners could pursue their court claims against the manufacturer, Toyota, for product defects and false advertising, despite the existence of an arbitration agreement in...more

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