Justia Business Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Sakab Saudi Holding Co. v. Aljabri
The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court determining that this case could not be adjudicated and dismissing the suit, holding that there was no error.Plaintiff, a foreign counterterrorism corporation, brought this lawsuit seeking an order freezing some of its Massachusetts assets based on allegations that a former government official misappropriated billions of dollars from the corporation. Defendants argued that the funds were lawfully received in connection with clandestine operations that were sometimes undertaken alongside the United States government. The United States government then asserted the state secrets privilege and successfully got state secrets and other information excluded from the case. The district court dismissed the suit, concluding that it could not examine the claims and defenses or award the preliminary equitable relief sought without weighing the privileged information and risking disclosure of state secrets. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to any of the relief it requested. View "Sakab Saudi Holding Co. v. Aljabri" on Justia Law
Conformis, Inc. v. Aetna, Inc.
The First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint bringing claims for product disparagement and related torts, holding that some of Plaintiff's claims were sufficiently plausible to warrant further proceedings.Plaintiff, a medical device company that designed and manufactured customized hip and knee replacements, brought this complaint against Aetna, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary (collectively, Aetna) alleging state common-law claims for product disparagement, tortious interference with both contractual and advantageous relations, and unfair trade practices, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 93A. The district court granted Aetna's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The First Circuit reversed in part, holding that the district court correctly dismissed Plaintiff's claim for tortious interference with contractual relations but erred in dismissing Plaintiff's claim for tortious interference with advantageous relations. View "Conformis, Inc. v. Aetna, Inc." on Justia Law
Medtronic Medical CR SRL v. Feliciano-Soto
In this suit brought under the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the First Circuit remanded this matter for further review, holding that the district court erred in dismissing the complaint based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens.Medtronic Medical CR SRL, a Costa Rica limited liability company, brought suit under RICO alleging that Defendants, Puerto Rico residents, orchestrated fraudulent schemes. The district court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens, concluding that Costa Rica was an adequate alternative forum. The First Circuit remanded the case, holding that intervening and developing circumstances required reconsideration of the most efficient, prudential path forward. View "Medtronic Medical CR SRL v. Feliciano-Soto" on Justia Law
United States, ex rel. Lovell v. AthenaHealth, Inc.
In these two different qui tam cases in which the United States executed a settlement agreement with AthenaHealth, Inc. and multiple relators, the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Relators' denial of their claims for attorneys' fees, holding that the district court did not err.Relators Cheryl Lovell and William McKusick appealed from the district court's denial of their entire claim for attorneys' fees under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., and relator Georgie Sandborn appealed from the omission of certain claimed fees from his attorneys' fees award. The First Circuit (1) affirmed as to Lovell and McKusick, holding that these relators did not receive a relator's share and so were not entitled to attorneys' fees; and (2) affirmed as to Sanborn, thus rejecting his argument that he may be allowed fees associated with his claim, in which the government did not intervene. View "United States, ex rel. Lovell v. AthenaHealth, Inc." on Justia Law
City of Miami Fire Fighters’ & Police Officers’ Retirement Trust v. CVS Health Corp.
The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the complaint brought by two retirement funds in this putative securities fraud class action against CVS Health Corporation and the court's subsequent denial of Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider, holding that there was no error.In this action arising out of difficulties CVS Health experienced in the wake of its acquisition of Omnicare, Inc., Plaintiffs alleged that CVS Health's executives and its newly-acquired subsidiary used false statements and misleading nondisclosures to conceal from investors the disintegration of Omnicare's customer base. The complaint included claims for violations of the Securities Exchange Act and its implementing rule. The district dismissed the complaint after finding that it failed to allege any materially false or misleading statements and denied Plaintiffs' ensuing motion to reconsider. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion or commit legal error in dismissing Plaintiffs' complaint and denying the motion to reconsider. View "City of Miami Fire Fighters' & Police Officers' Retirement Trust v. CVS Health Corp." on Justia Law
Thant v. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.
The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing this complaint against Karoypharm Therapuetics, Inc. and its corporate officers (collectively, Defendants) alleging securities fraud in violation of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b) and 78t(a), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10-b, 18 C.F.R. 240.10b-5, holding that the district court correctly dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim.Plaintiff-investors brought this action following a decline in Karyopharm's stock price, alleging that Karyopharm materially misled them as to the safety and efficacy of the company's cancer-fighting drug candidate selinexor. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, concluding that Plaintiffs failed adequately to plead scienter with respect to Defendants' statements about a certain study of the drug as a treatment for pinta-refractory multiple myeloma. The First Circuit affirmed on other grounds, holding that Plaintiffs did not plausibly allege an actionable statement or omission with respect to the trial disclosures, and therefore, dismissal was appropriate. View "Thant v. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc." on Justia Law
Katz v. Belveron Real Estate Partners, LLC
The First Circuit affirmed the order of the district court entering summary judgment in favor of Defendant and dismissing Plaintiff's claims for fraud, civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment, holding that Plaintiff failed to make a sufficient showing on essential elements of her case.In 2014, Plaintiff sold her special limited partnership interests in an affordable housing property for $1.5 million. In 2016, the property sold for $11.7 million. Plaintiff brought this lawsuit alleging claims for civil conspiracy, fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty, alleging that she was fraudulently led to believe that Defendant had power over the property and would block any attempt to sell or refinance it. The district court entered summary judgment for Defendant. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff failed to establish that Defendant intentionally misrepresented the value of the property and Plaintiff's special interest; and (2) Plaintiff's remaining causes of action were unsuccessful in the absence of wrongdoing or foreseeable damages. View "Katz v. Belveron Real Estate Partners, LLC" on Justia Law
Construction Industry & Laborers Joint Pension Trust v. Carbonite, Inc.
The First Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' securities fraud class action alleging that Carbonite, Inc. and certain current and former officers misled investors by touting a new product that they knew did not work, holding that the complaint sufficiently pleaded a claim.Plaintiffs, the Construction Industry and Laborers' Joint Pension Trust and other holders of Carbonite's common stock, brought this complaint seeking recovery under sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which the district court allowed. The First Circuit reversed, holding that the complaint sufficiently pled that Defendants' statements were material misrepresentations made with scienter. View "Construction Industry & Laborers Joint Pension Trust v. Carbonite, Inc." on Justia Law
Diaz Mayoral v. Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico
The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the Title III court holding that Claimants, who invested in mutual funds that owned bonds issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and filed proofs of claim in the Commonwealth's Title III case, lacked standing to recover damages directly from the Commonwealth for losses suffered by the mutual funds, holding that there was not a basis in law for this lawsuit.The Claimants alleged that they had a right to recover damages directly from the Commonwealth for losses suffered by the mutual funds in those investments. The title III court concluded that Claimants lacked standing because they did not own any bonds issued by the Commonwealth and that the Claimants' ownership interest in the mutual funds did not give them a right to recover against the Commonwealth. The Title III court subsequently denied the Claimants' motions for reconsideration. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the Title III court did not err in its standing analysis, either in its initial decision disallowing the Claimants' claims or in its consideration of the two motions for reconsideration. View "Diaz Mayoral v. Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico" on Justia Law
Woo v. Spackman
In this appeal concerning the scope and reach of 28 U.S.C. 1963 - a statute permitting the registration of certain judgment in a federal district court - the First Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment concluding that the New York state court judgment proffered by Plaintiff did not come within the statutory sweep and that no other cognizable basis for federal subject-matter jurisdiction had been shown, holding that the district court did not err.Plaintiff sought recognition of a Korean judgment in New York. A New York court recognized the Korean judgment and entered a judgment in Plaintiff's favor for more than $13 million. When the New York judgment went unpaid, Plaintiff filed the judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Defendants moved to quash, arguing that the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because 28 U.S.C. 1963 only authorized district courts to register judgments of other federal courts and not state court judgments. The district court agreed and dismissed the matter for want of subject-matter jurisdiction. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) section 1963 does not authorize federal courts to register state-court judgments; and (2) there were no independent grounds for federal jurisdiction here. View "Woo v. Spackman" on Justia Law