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Judge dismisses final MDL case

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The final lawsuit in a multi-district litigation case involving Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims against Indiana-based Zimmer Holdings has been resolved, with U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana dismissing with prejudice the suit against the company on Dec. 23.

Combined into the MDL case of Zimmer Holdings Inc. Securities, Derivative & ERISA, 1:09-MDL-06000, the litigation involved claims that Zimmer allowed participants in an employee investment plan to continue buying company stock even after quality and safety complaints about its orthopedic surgical products and hip resurfacing system impacted the company’s financial infrastructure and essentially led to artificially inflated stock prices that weren’t accurate based on the product issues.

Three cases were consolidated in the Southern District, and after Barker ruled on two suits, the only remaining case was Jonathan M. DeWald v. Zimmer Holdings, et al., No. 1:09-CV-00745.

Relying on precedent from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued earlier in 2011 as the analytical template for this Zimmer Holdings case, Barker determined that the stock declines as alleged were insufficient to hold that the defendants acted imprudently. Specifically, she stated that each plan participant had several months to divert contributions into 28 other investment options. The Zimmer Holdings plan document established that the participants had independent control over their investments, so the judge determined the ERISA Section 404(c) safe harbor provision applies and bars the plaintiffs’ claim about failure to disclose. Barker also dismissed the plaintiffs’ failure to monitor and derivative claims regarding conflict of interest, co-fiduciary and liability issues.

An appeal is before the 7th Circuit on the two other cases, with a combined cause number of 11-1471.•

Rehearing "In the news, and onto the docket" IL Feb. 2-15, 2011

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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