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Tag >> lawsuits
A number of companies this week have disclosed in regulatory filings billions of dollars of potential losses from legal proceedings.
Goldman Sachs Group, for example, said it could suffer "reasonably possible" losses of $3.4 billion from legal claims against the company.
Good times for securities plaintiffs lawyers.
The number of securities lawsuits filed in the third quarter climbed slightly, to 284 from 278 the prior three-month period, according to a report from Advisen, an insurance consulting firm. This puts the full-year annualized total at a potential count of 1024, it adds.
Here come the lawsuits.
The folks at RiskMetrics Group expect a slew of lawsuits from business interests designed to head off the implementation of Proxy Access.
In fact, it points out even SEC commissioner Kathleen Casey anticipates a legal challenge to Rule 14a-11, which permits certain shareholders to nominate directors under certain conditions. "I believe the rule is so fundamentally and fatally flawed that it will have great difficulty surviving judicial scrutiny," Casey reportedly stated during the Commission's debate over the rule, which passed 3-2.
It is a reflexive action, almost seemingly involuntary.
A company restates prior results for some reason. Investors then dump the stock, which in turn plummets in price.
Employers may not like the uncertainty that the new health reform law has injected into their health care benefits plans, but they are not giving up on providing health care, as I wrote earlier this week. After years of wrangling, a bill passed. The law is on the books and employers are adjusting to a new reality.
Still, the effort to knock down health reform continues. This would seem to add more uncertainty into the plans of employers, who love nothing more than a fixed cost.
In a $30 million lawsuit filed last month, Marin County, Calif. accused Deloitte Consulting of misrepresenting its skills and capabilities when it was trying to win the county's business and handle an ERP implementation, according to this report.
Also in June, a District Court in Texas awarded Dillard's $246 million in its lawsuit against i2, which is now part of JDA. Dillard's had alleged that i2 failed to meet its obligations under a software license and related maintenance agreements.
When shares of NBTY surged nearly 50 percent Thursday morning following the announcement that it would be acquired by The Carlyle Group for $3.8 billion, irate shareholders not only rejoiced over their huge sudden gains.
They also swung into legal action.
Before there was national health reform, there was San Francisco health reform. The Golden Gate city required employers to provide some form of health insurance or face fines and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association objected and sued.
The restaurant association has been largely unsuccessful in challenging the law but they have persisted. They have argued that federal ERISA law allowing multistate employers to skirt local laws concerning benefits trumps Healthy San Francisco.
There next and final recourse is to take it before the Supreme Court, something the Obama administration has decided to weigh in on. A couple weeks ago, the administration filed a brief saying the Supremes should not take up the case. This was of course a different tack than George Bush, whose solicitor argued that the Supreme Court should overturn the ordinance.
But the Obama administration has a much different stake in the outcome of this case. Their argument is that national health reform makes a law like Health San Francisco, passed in 2006, obsolete. The issues presented in the case-that local governments have the ability to require employers to offer insurance-are unlikely to come to the fore considering federal law now requires some form of employer participation in health care.
The subtext of this brief though is much bigger. If the court did take up the case and ruled against the city and in favor of the employer group, it would no doubt fan the flames of opposition to national health reform. Though the Supremes may rule on much narrower grounds, it could galvanize legal opposition to national health reform law. Already, there is a movement afoot in some states to declare federal reform illegal. If the Supreme Court takes up this case it could become symbolic of a larger referendum on health reform.
The number and value of securities class action settlements rose last year. However, the figures are still way down from what they were several years ago.
According to Cornerstone Research, which keeps score and cosponsors the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, in 2009 there were 103 court-approved securities class action settlements, up slightly from 97 in 2008. However, the settlements in 2009 involved $3.8 billion in total settlement funds, up 35 percent from the prior year.
Besides death and taxes, one thing you can always count on is a lawsuit filed after a governmental regulatory action.
So, surprise, surprise, a major pension fund has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America stemming from its merger with Merrill Lynch.
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