Issue #5
September 13, 2012

This month's Business Law Briefing advises of a recent employer fiduciary liability case and a new wage and hour complaint filed against a major Florida-based restaurant operator.  We also have news and updates on some other events we would love to see you at including a judicial fundraiser, a charity golf outing and a securities seminar. Thanks for allowing us to e-mail you!


Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello PLC
Fifth-Third Employees' Suit Against Bank for Retirement Plan Losses May Proceed

On September 5, 2012, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling and held that
Fifth Third Bancorp employees may pursue claims that the bank wrongfully risked their savings by putting company stock in their retirement plan prior to the housing downturn. Current and former employees claim to have lost tens of millions of dollars in the case of Dudenhoefer v. Fifth Third Bancorp.  

Similar cases alleging that employers exposed to sub-prime mortgages breached fiduciary duties in overseeing retirement plans have typically not been successful. However, the 6th Circuit's ruling allows claims that the bank should have better disclosed the risks of its stock and that it knew it was clearly imprudent to include the stock in a profit-sharing plan to survive at this stage of the litigation. 

The Court held that "Plaintiffs need only allege a fiduciary breach and a causal connection to losses suffered by the plan. They do so here."  While we will follow further proceedings in this case, the current ruling increases the risk of liability for employer fiduciaries who should carefully monitor their discretionary control over assets.
Olive Garden and Capital Grille Operator Sued for Minimum Wage Violations


Darden Restaurants Inc, known for its operation of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Capital Grille restaurant chains, was sued in federal court in Miami on September 6, 2012, for alleged violation of federal labor laws by underpaying workers at its popular eateries around the country.


The lawsuit (Mathis et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc. et al.) alleges the Florida-based company failed to pay federally mandated minimum wages and forced its waitstaff to work "off-the-clock" before or after their shifts without compensation.

There has been an increased frequency in these types of Fair Labor Standards Act claims. Employers should be vigilant in reviewing their policies to ensure compliance.

HSP to Host Campaign Reception for Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Van Houten

HSP attorneys John Hubbard and Eric Parzianello are on the host committee for a campaign reception honoring Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Van Houten.  The reception will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. at the Huron River Hunting and Fishing Club in Farmington.  Please contact us for tickets and additional information to help support Judge Van Houten.*  
 *The Friends of Judge Margaret Van Houten may accept contributions from any individual, including a lawyer, in any amount up to $3,400 prior to November 6, 2012. However, Canon 7 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits a campaign committee from soliciting more than $100 per lawyer. If you are a lawyer, please regard this as informative and not a solicitation for more than $100. Corporate checks are prohibited by law. Contributions are not tax deductible.
MSU law
Hubbard To Speak at Midwest Securities Law Institute 

John Hubbard
 will be a featured speaker at the 2012 Midwest Securities Law Institute on October 12, 2012.  The Institute is presented by the Michigan State University College of Law and sponsored by the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

The one day course is designed for practicing attorneys, corporate counsel, arbitrators and financial industry professionals. It will examine current issues in securities regulation, provide updates from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and address other issues in securities law and litigation.  Interested participants can register at this registration link.
Jake and Johnny
It's Not Too Late to Play in the Jake & Johnny Golf Fundraiser on September 24th
Help Cure Childhood Leukemia and Juvenile Diabetes

If you haven't registered for the Jake & Johnny Golf Outing, it's not too late.  Please join us at the beautiful Golden Fox Championship Course at Fox Hills in Plymouth on Monday, September 24th for our annual fundraiser to help find a cure for childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes.  
Last year we raised over $25,000 and made donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.  We're hoping to beat that total this year! Register at The Jake and Johnny Club website.

5/3rd Suit
New FLSA Suit
Judicial Reception
Golf Fundraiser
E-Mail Links

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