Articles Posted in U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiff-Appellant Waterford Investment Services, Inc. appealed the district court’s ruling that it must arbitrate certain claims that a group of investors brought before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The investors alleged in their FINRA claims that they received bad advice from their financial advisor, George Gilbert. The investors named Gilbert, his current investment firm, Waterford, and his prior firm, Community Bankers Securities, LLC (CBS), among others as parties to the arbitration. In response, Waterford filed this suit asking a federal district court to enjoin the arbitration proceedings and enter a declaratory judgment that Waterford need not arbitrate the claims. The district court, adopting the recommendations of a magistrate judge, concluded that because Gilbert was an "associated person" of Waterford during the events in question, Waterford must arbitrate the investors' claims. Upon review of the matter, the Fourth Circuit affirmed, finding that Gilbert was inextricably an "associated person" with Waterford, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion in adopting the magistrate judge's opinion. View "Waterford Investment Services v. Bosco" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, relatives of a participant of a life insurance plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), sued Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("Metlife") when Metlife awarded life insurance benefits to the participant's husband. At issue was whether Metlife had fulfilled its statutory duty under ERISA by awarding benefits to the husband where the husband was legally separated from the participant at the time of her death and where the husband was also the beneficiary designated in the documents the participant filed with the plan. The court held that Metlife did fulfill its duties under ERISA in light of Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for DuPont Savings & Investment Plan and therefore, by extension, the "plan documents rule."