Justia Professional Malpractice & Ethics Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Class Action
In re Ness Technologies, Inc. Shareholders Litigation
Plaintiffs, shareholders of Ness Technologies, Inc. (Ness), moved to expedite proceedings in this putative class action, which they filed to enjoin a proposed transaction through which Ness's largest shareholder, Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI), would, through a wholly owned subsidiary, acquire Ness in a cash transaction at $7.75 per share (Proposed Transaction). Plaintiffs contended that the Proposed Transaction was the product of a flawed sales process and that the members of the Board, aided and abetted by CVCI, breached their fiduciary duties to plaintiffs and the class by approving the transaction. Plaintiffs asserted both price and process claims and claims that the Board's disclosures regarding the Proposed Transaction were inadequate. The court held that plaintiffs' Motion for Expedited Proceedings was granted only to the extent that they could take expedited, but necessarily limited and focused, discovery regarding the question of whether either the Board's or the Special Committee's financial advisors were conflicted because of their relationships with CVCI. The motion was denied in all other aspects. View "In re Ness Technologies, Inc. Shareholders Litigation" on Justia Law
Faber, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Plaintiffs appealed from a judgment of the district court dismissing their class-action complaint, which asserted a single claim against MetLife under ERISA, 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq. Plaintiffs alleged that through the use of "retained asset accounts" (RAAs), MetLife breached fiduciary duties imposed by ERISA by retaining and investing for its own profit life insurance proceeds due them under employee benefit plans that MetLife administered. The court held that the district court correctly determined that plaintiffs failed to state a claim, since MetLife discharged its fiduciary obligations under ERISA when it established the RAAs in accordance with the plans at issue, and did not misuse "plan assets" by holding and investing the funds backing the accounts. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Faber, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company" on Justia Law
The Ravenswood Investment Co., L.P. v. Winmill, et al.
Plaintiff, a significant stockholder in a holding company managed by the individual defendants, alleged, both on behalf of a class and derivatively, breaches of fiduciary duty regarding defendants' adoption of a stock buyback plan, their adoption of an options plan, issuance of the options to themselves, and the decision by the company to vote in favor of a transaction involving the sale of a subsidiary's interest in a third entity. At issue was whether the court should grant defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Court of Chancery Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. The court denied defendants' motion to dismiss Count II only with regard to the claim that defendants' vote of Winmill & Co. Incorporated's ("Winmill") interest in Bexil Corporation in favor of the York Insurance Services Group, Inc. sale was self-interested and unfair to Winmill. The court otherwise granted defendants' motion to dismiss.
Belue v. Leventhal
Appellants appealed an order revoking their pro hac vice admissions in connection with a putative class action suit where the suit alleged that appellants' clients breached supplemental cancer insurance policies that they had issued. At issue was whether the district court erred in revoking appellants' pro hac vice status where the revocation was based on motions appellants filed in response to plaintiffs' request for class certification, chiefly a motion to recuse the district judge based on his comments during an earlier hearing. The court vacated the revocation order and held that, even though the recusal motion had little merit, the district court erred in revoking appellants' pro hac vice admissions where it did not afford them even rudimentary process.