Equitable Estoppel

News & Analysis as of

The Construct - December 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Constructing (and Eating) a Piece of the Energy Sector Pie - An Interview with Melvin Stroble, REM, Project Manager, Energy for Black & Veatch - Executive Order 13658...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As it is well known, in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court identified several forms of appropriate equitable relief that may be available under Section 502(a)(3) of...more

View From Proskauer: The Availability of Surcharge as Relief for Individual ERISA Fiduciary Breach Claims

Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court identified three forms of appropriate equitable relief — reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge — that are available under Section 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income...more

Diaper Maker’s Patent Claims Soiled by Delay

SCA Hygiene Prods. AB v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC - This case relates to adult incontinence products. The district court, based on a delay of more than six-years in filing the lawsuit, held that the patent...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

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

Statute of Limitations – Great Shield, Lousy Sword

One of the strongest legal defenses is the generally unyielding statute of limitations. If it runs then a lawsuit is time barred. But when that powerful shield is used as a sword then you run the risk of giving a plaintiff...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

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