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Varnum Clients Score Two Big Victories from Sixth Circuit

May 30, 2014
Western Michigan Federal Courts

With Varnum's representation, two Varnum clients recently had huge victories completely affirmed by the Sixth Circuit. The victories highlight Varnum's experienced and well-rounded litigation practice; one was a complete win for a defendant, and the other for a plaintiff. 

First, in Bellwether Community Credit Union v. CUSO Development Company LLC, Varnum represented CUSO Development Company, LLC, a company that provides administrative and related services to financial institutions around the country. The Sixth Circuit affirmed CUSO's outright victory. As a result, the plaintiff, who sought over $655,000.00, received nothing. The case is the first to interpret a particular provision of the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act and will likely have practical implications for innumerable limited liability companies.

Second, in Hi-Lex Controls Inc. v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan, Varnum represented Hi-Lex Controls, a manufacturer of auto parts. The Sixth Circuit completely affirmed Hi-Lex's trial verdict of just over $6 million plus attorney's fees. The Sixth Circuit agreed with the trial court that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan engaged in fraud and concealment that violated ERISA when Blue Cross administered self-insured insurance plans. 

While the $6,000,000 ranked as one of the top 10 largest verdicts in Michigan last year, the ramifications of the case are much greater; Varnum represents over 35 other companies besides Hi-Lex, each of which appears to have been duped by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan in the very same way. Perhaps due to this and the fact that Blue Cross is such a well-recognized company, the opinion is expected to garner significant media attention.

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