Benefits

  • February 22, 2024

    Stressful Atty Work Can Warrant Disability Pay, Judge Says

    A Virginia federal judge held Wednesday that a cybersecurity attorney whose doctors advised that he stop working after heart surgery shouldn't have had his long-term disability benefits claim denied, ruling that a life insurance company ignored evidence that his job was highly stressful and that stress could be dangerous.

  • February 22, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Medicare Kickback Convictions

    The Fifth Circuit upheld two Texas group-home owners' convictions and sentences for their role in a Medicare kickback scheme, rejecting their argument that a trial court judge wrongly admitted audio recordings at trial and incorrectly calculated the scheme's returns.

  • February 22, 2024

    North Carolina Hospitals Can't Exit Monopoly Claims

    Two healthcare companies cannot escape a consolidated antitrust suit claiming that a North Carolina hospital system drove up the price of health insurance for public employees, as a federal judge has found that the claims plausibly allege that the anti-competitive conduct occurred within the time window to sue.

  • February 22, 2024

    Hormel Foods Accused Of Mismanaging Retirement Funds

    A Hormel Foods Corp. benefit plan participant filed a proposed class action against the company in Minnesota federal court, alleging it shirked its duty under federal benefits law by failing to trim high-cost investment funds with poor crediting rates from its $1.2 billion retirement funds.

  • February 22, 2024

    UAW Tells Mich. Judge To Toss Fiduciary Duty Suit

    The United Auto Workers and one of its affiliates urged a Michigan federal judge to dismiss accusations that the union violated its fiduciary duty in connection with an individual's claim for benefits, saying federal retirement and labor laws preempt the plaintiff's allegations.

  • February 22, 2024

    American Airlines Can't Ground 401(k) Suit Over ESG Funds

    A Texas federal judge has refused to toss a pilot's proposed class action accusing American Airlines of packing its $26 billion retirement plan with investments that focused too heavily on environmental, social and governance factors, like climate change, and too little on financial returns.

  • February 22, 2024

    Locke Lord Settles Failed Health Plan Malpractice Suit

    Locke Lord LLP has reached a settlement to resolve a health plan fiduciary's malpractice suit alleging the firm provided bad legal advice that doomed the plan, permanently ending an Illinois federal suit first filed in 2018.

  • February 21, 2024

    39 AGs Call For Federal Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform

    The list of critics of pharmacy benefit managers continues to grow as nearly 40 attorneys general have thrown their weight behind a trio of federal bills they say would force more transparency into an "opaque" industry that has "been a cause of rising drug prices."

  • February 21, 2024

    Talen Energy Strikes $20M Deal To End Unpaid Pensions Suit

    A group of Talen Energy Corp. retirees urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Wednesday to give the initial green light to a $20 million deal that would shutter their suit alleging the company withheld early retirement benefits from workers following a company spinoff.

  • February 21, 2024

    Twitter Severance Fight Paused To Facilitate Settlement Talks

    X Corp., the social media entity formerly known as Twitter, and a group of ex-employees have paused their dispute over severance compensation, as a Delaware federal court signed off Wednesday on a proposal to stay litigation deadlines pending settlement talks.

  • February 21, 2024

    JPMorgan Got $400M Before Inovalon Sale, Del. Justices Hear

    Inovalon didn't properly disclose that investors that bought the healthcare data company in 2021 paid $400 million in fees to its financial adviser, a JPMorgan unit, before the transaction, a reason enough to revive a lawsuit challenging the $7.3 billion acquisition, counsel for stockholders told Delaware's Supreme Court Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    3rd Circ. Lets J&J Appeal Class Cert. In Talc Concealment Suit

    Johnson & Johnson can appeal a New Jersey federal court's class certification order from December, the Third Circuit ruled Wednesday, in an investor action alleging the company artificially inflated its stock price by failing to disclose cancer risks associated with its talcum powder products.

  • February 20, 2024

    SocGen's $35M Yen-Libor Rigging Suit Deal Gets 1st OK

    A New York federal judge Tuesday granted preliminary approval of a $35 million settlement to resolve a yearslong dispute involving a class of Societe Generale investors who accused the French financial services provider of being involved in a conspiracy to rig the London interbank offered rate for the Japanese yen.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ryder Investors' $45M Securities Deal Gets First Green Light

    A Florida federal judge on Tuesday granted the first green light to a $45 million cash settlement ending a suit against truck rental company Ryder System Inc., alleging it knowingly overstated the residual value of its trucking fleet, which caused its stock price to plummet after the truth was revealed.

  • February 20, 2024

    DOL Says Fringe Benefits Cos., Execs Mismanaged Funds

    The U.S. Department of Labor accused two fringe benefits administration companies and their executives of mismanaging funds destined for government contractor employees' benefits, telling a Maryland federal court Tuesday that more than $4 million in withdrawals remains missing.

  • February 20, 2024

    Amentum Can Claim Some COVID Leave Costs From Air Force

    The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals has ruled that Amentum Services can partially claim increased costs under an Air Force contract based on California's COVID-19 sick leave laws but that sovereign immunity bars claims based on a military quarantine requirement.

  • February 20, 2024

    Cedars-Sinai Can't Escape Ex-Worker's Retirement Fee Suit

    A California federal judge refused to toss a proposed class action against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center alleging mismanagement of an employee retirement plan, finding an ex-worker sufficiently backed up claims the California hospital system should have done more to lower fees and offer better investment choices to retirees.

  • February 20, 2024

    Wagner Law Adds Atty With Union-Side Background In LA

    Benefits boutique Wagner Law Group added a partner with two decades of experience advocating for unions and workers to its ranks in Los Angeles, bringing on a veteran who said he'll still be "sticking up for employees" even though he'll no longer be representing labor.

  • February 20, 2024

    High Court Won't Wade Into CSX Medical Leave Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected former CSX Transportation employees' push for review of a Fourth Circuit ruling that ended their suit claiming they were unlawfully fired for requesting medical leave.

  • February 20, 2024

    Justices Won't Touch UBH Mental Health Coverage Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear United Behavioral Health's challenge to a Tenth Circuit decision that found the company violated federal benefits law by refusing to cover a teenage girl's inpatient mental health treatment claims.

  • February 16, 2024

    11th Circ. Upholds Insurer's Win In Worker's Health Bias Fight

    The Eleventh Circuit on Friday rejected a former Alfa Mutual Insurance Co. worker's bid to reopen her disability discrimination suit accusing the insurer of illegally firing her to sidestep high healthcare costs related to her multiple sclerosis and severe migraines.

  • February 16, 2024

    ​​4th Circ. Revives COVID Benefits Class Action Against BofA

    The Fourth Circuit on Friday resurrected a proposed class action brought by a recipient of government COVID-19 assistance that alleges Bank of America didn't protect his unemployment benefits, reasoning the bank account was subject to a federal law that guards government benefits.

  • February 16, 2024

    Ex-Yellow Corp. Workers Push WARN Class Cert In Ch. 11

    Former employees of trucking firm Yellow Corp. told a Delaware bankruptcy court that recognizing them as a class is the best way to handle their claim that the bankrupt company didn't give them adequate warning of layoffs.

  • February 16, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    News broke last week that Delaware's Court of Chancery will say goodbye to its current longest-serving jurist, a development that quickly overshadowed a busy week of new merger and board disputes, fee rulings, settlements, and books-and-records demands.

  • February 16, 2024

    Insurer Seeks To Cancel $15M Policy Over 'Human Life Wager'

    A life insurance company has urged a New Jersey federal court to void a $15 million policy it calls an illegal "human life wager" on a man whose death benefits a bank, rather than his own family.

Expert Analysis

  • Del. Ruling Stands Out In Thorny Noncompete Landscape

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    In Cantor Fitzgerald v. Ainslie, the Delaware Supreme Court last month upheld the enforceability of forfeiture-for-competition provisions in limited partnership agreements, providing a noteworthy opinion amid a time of increasing disfavor toward noncompetes and following a string of Chancery Court rulings deeming them unreasonable, say Margaret Butler and Steven Goldberg at BakerHostetler.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Verizon Benefits Ruling Clears Up Lien Burden Of Proof

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    A Rhode Island federal court recently ruled that a Verizon benefits plan could not recoup a former employee’s settlement funds from the attorney who represented her in a personal injury case, importantly clarifying two Employee Retirement Income Security Act burden of proof issues that were previously unsettled, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • 4 Steps To Navigating Employee Dementia With Care

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    A recent Connecticut suit brought by an employee terminated after her managers could not reasonably accommodate her Alzheimer's-related dementia should prompt employers to plan how they can compassionately address older employees whose cognitive impairments affect their job performance, while also protecting the company from potential disability and age discrimination claims, says Robin Shea at Constangy.

  • Del.'s Tesla Pay Takedown Tells Boards What Not To Do

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    The Delaware Chancery Court’s ruthless dissection of the Tesla board’s extreme departures from standard corporate governance in its January opinion striking down CEO Elon Musk’s $55 billion pay package offers a blow-by-blow guide to mistakes Delaware public companies can avoid when negotiating executive compensation, say attorneys at Cleary.

  • Reimagining Law Firm Culture To Break The Cycle Of Burnout

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    While attorney burnout remains a perennial issue in the legal profession, shifting post-pandemic expectations mean that law firms must adapt their office cultures to retain talent, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Series

    Competing In Dressage Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My lifelong participation in the sport of dressage — often called ballet on horses — has proven that several skills developed through training and competition are transferable to legal work, especially the ability to harness focus, persistence and versatility when negotiating a deal, says Stephanie Coco at V&E.

  • Musk Pay Package Ruling Offers Detailed Lesson On Del. Law

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    Anat Alon-Beck and John Livingstone at Case Western Reserve University discuss the specifics that led Delaware's chancellor to rescind Elon Musk's $55.8 billion Tesla pay package on Jan. 30, how the state’s entire fairness doctrine played into the ruling, and its bigger-picture impact on the executive compensation landscape.

  • Del. Ruling Adds Momentum For Caremark Plaintiffs

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    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent opinion in Lebanon County Employees' Retirement Fund v. Collis could be viewed as expanding plaintiffs' ability to viably plead a Caremark claim against directors, so Delaware companies should be on heightened alert and focus on creating a record of board oversight, say attorneys at V&E.

  • The Legal Industry Needs A Cybersecurity Paradigm Shift

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    As law firms face ever-increasing risks of cyberattacks and ransomware incidents, the legal industry must implement robust cybersecurity measures and privacy-centric practices to preserve attorney-client privilege, safeguard client trust and uphold the profession’s integrity, says Ryan Paterson at Unplugged.

  • 5 Reasons Associates Shouldn't Take A Job Just For Money

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    As a number of BigLaw firms increase salary scales for early-career attorneys, law students and lateral associates considering new job offers should weigh several key factors that may matter more than financial compensation, say Albert Tawil at Lateral Hub and Ruvin Levavi at Power Forward.

  • Series

    Playing Competitive Tennis Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experience playing competitive tennis has highlighted why prioritizing exercise and stress relief, maintaining perspective under pressure, and supporting colleagues in pursuit of a common goal are all key aspects of championing a successful legal career, says Madhumita Datta at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • NY, Del. May Be Trending Against Noncompete Enforceability

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    While neither New York nor Delaware has statutory restrictions on noncompete provisions, recent legislative actions and judicial decisions indicate a trend against enforcement of restrictive covenants in both equity award and employment agreements, says Irene Bassock at Cohen Buckmann.

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