April 15, 2020 - Please click to download the PDF version of the Litigation Wrap: First Quarter 2020. 

Pivotal Victory for Denmark
HHR won pivotal rulings for the government of Denmark in its efforts to recover $2.1 billion stolen through an international tax fraud scheme involving U.S. pension plans. On Jan. 23, a New York federal court dismissed in two separate opinions counterclaims against SKAT, the Danish Tax Authority. One of the rulings effectively barred all similar counterclaims by other plans under the law of any state or foreign country. Bill Maguire, Marc Weinstein and Neil Oxford lead the team, which has filed over 180 suits in U.S. courts. 

Arbitration Victory Upheld
Dan Weiner, Hagit Muriel Elul and Meaghan Gragg prevailed on behalf of Global Gaming Asset Management when the Singapore High Court upheld a partial arbitration award on liability issued in 2016 to the Las Vegas-based casino operator in its dispute with a premier gaming resort owner in the Philippines. On Jan. 3, the Singapore court rejected Bloomberry Resorts’ application to set aside the arbitral award on both procedural and substantive grounds, and denied Bloomberry’s motion to oppose enforcement of the award. The arbitration tribunal unanimously issued its final $296 million damages award last September.

Critical ITC Ruling
Matt Nicely, Dean Pinkert and Dan Witkowski obtained a critical ruling for the Mexican subsidiary of North American metals maker Cornerstone Building Brands in a dispute with U.S. steel producers over their allegations that certain imports of fabricated structural steel (FSS) are harming them. On Feb. 25, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that FSS imports from Mexico, Canada and China do not hurt U.S. manufacturers, thus invalidating the antidumping and countervailing duties calculated by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Discrimination Case Dismissed
Ned Bassen scored a victory for L-3 Communications and its then-subsidiary Vertex Aerospace when a New York federal court on Feb.18 granted the sixth-largest global defense contractor’s summary judgment motion to end an ex-employee’s $3 million employment racial discrimination case. The plaintiff, an African-American distribution manager, worked in Afghanistan for Mississippi-based Vertex, then a part of Texas-based L-3 Integrated Systems, with L-3 Communications headquartered in New York. L-3 Communications is now L3Harris Technologies. The plaintiff’s claims were dismissed in a 29-page decision for insufficient evidence.

Early Release for Client
Valerie Cahan and Marc Weinstein won the release of a client who served over 26 years in prison after being convicted by a jury of selling crack cocaine. On Jan. 29, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska found that John Bowman was eligible to be resentenced to time served under the First Step Act. That 2019 law allows judges to reduce sentences imposed prior to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which relaxed mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses. Bowman was originally sentenced to life in prison. He was released on Feb. 10.

Vyera’s Key Win
Dan Weiner and Fara Tabatabai scored a key victory for Vyera Pharmaceuticals when a Chicago federal judge upheld a $35 million breach-of-contract lawsuit that Vyera filed last summer against Walgreens. On Jan. 28, U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen rule that Walgreens must face allegations that it breached a distribution agreement with Vyera by failing to make a contractually required payment known as a “shelf stock adjustment” for all inventory of the drug Daraprim that Walgreens held when the price increased.

Victory Upheld for Two NYC Cops
Representing New York City and two former police officers in New York Appellate Division’s Second Department, Ken Katz and Dan Weiner obtained affirmance of a summary judgment decision dismissing a $10 million civil rights action. Plaintiff Mitchel Braxton claimed that defendants unlawfully arrested him in 2009, and maliciously prosecuted him. Katz argued the appeal last September, after Braxton appealed HHR’s summary judgment. On Dec. 24, the Second Department unanimously affirmed, holding that defendants had probable cause for Braxton’s arrest and prosecution.