Securities Litigation Champion
David Harrison, an esteemed attorney, has been at the forefront of high-stakes securities litigation. He has proven his expertise and earned recognition for his remarkable achievements. Let’s dive into some of his noteworthy cases:
A Game-Changing Securities Class Action
One of Mr. Harrison’s most significant accomplishments was representing the New York City Pension Funds in a long-standing securities class action against the largest for-profit hospital system in the United States. His leading role contributed to a unanimous reversal of the case’s dismissal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Remarkably, Mr. Harrison successfully opposed Supreme Court review. The case, Norfork Cty. Ret. Sys. v. Community Health Sys., Inc., 877 F.3d 687 (6th Cir. 2017), cert. denied. 139 S. Ct. 310 (2018), settled for an impressive $53 million after 8-1/2 years of litigation, pending court approval in June 2020.
ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims
Mr. Harrison also took on a groundbreaking case involving ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims on behalf of a union fund that invested in mortgage-backed securities. In a first-of-its-kind scenario, the court ruled that ERISA’s exclusive statutory authority to sue for misconduct took precedence over the standard provisions barring direct lawsuits in the governing trust indentures. This landmark case, Powell v. Ocwen Fin. Corp. (S.D.N.Y.), showcased Mr. Harrison’s legal prowess.
Protecting Whistleblower Rights
Taking the lead in Second Circuit briefing, Mr. Harrison played a pivotal role in addressing whether a physician whistleblower, who exposed a scheme to misappropriate HIPAA-protected baby information from hospital NICUs, qualified as an original source of kickback claims under the False Claims Act. The case, Susan Vierczhalek, M.D. v. MedImmune, Inc., No. 19-93 (2d Cir. 2019), highlighted Mr. Harrison’s dedication to upholding the rights of those speaking out against wrongdoing.
Exposing Corporate Deception
In the class action Juniper Networks Securities Litigation, Mr. Harrison skillfully prosecuted a case involving a $900 million financial restatement resulting from the concealed backdating of millions of director and officer stock options. After four years of rigorous litigation, the Court approved an impressive $169.5 million settlement with Juniper and Ernst & Young LLP, the company’s auditors. Mr. Harrison’s unwavering commitment to justice shone through in this complex and hard-fought battle.
Pursuing Justice for Investors
Mr. Harrison has also been instrumental in pursuing justice for investors in cases such as the Countrywide Financial Corp. MBS Litigation, where he achieved a recovery substantially higher than that of the class. Additionally, he successfully litigated the class action In re Luminent Mortgage Capital, Inc. Securities Litigation, which stemmed from the collapse and bankruptcy of Luminent Mortgage Capital. The resulting settlement received high praise due to its exceptional recovery, considering the intricacies of bankruptcy proceedings.
Championing Investor Rights
Not limited to institutional investors, Mr. Harrison has tirelessly fought for individual investors as well. He prosecuted state law class action claims against investment advisors involved in channeling funds to Bernard Madoff. His efforts led to a significantly higher recovery compared to the class settlement. Additionally, he represented variable annuitants and life insurance policyholders of AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co. in class breach of contract claims under state law. Mr. Harrison’s exceptional trial and appellate work also addressed the preclusion and dismissal of SLUSA, leaving a lasting impact on investor rights.
Expertise in Financial Institution Insolvencies
Mr. Harrison’s expertise extends to pursuing claims against third parties involved in the insolvency and bankruptcy of large financial institutions. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the WorldCom Securities Litigation, where his clients, the firm’s pension fund beneficiaries, recovered 100 percent of their Securities Act damages resulting from their investment in WorldCom’s defaulted bonds. Additionally, he has been involved in cases surrounding the insolvency and bankruptcy of major financial institutions, including First Executive Life Insurance Company, Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, Reliance Insurance Company, and First Central Insurance Company.
A Published Legal Mind
Beyond his litigation accomplishments, Mr. Harrison has made valuable contributions to legal literature. He co-authored articles such as “Another Alarm Blast as the Second Circuit Rejects Class Action Tolling of the Statuses of Repose” in The NAPPA Report, the Journal of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. Notably, he also co-authored “Don’t Bend ‘American Pipe'” in the New York Law Journal, shedding light on important legal concepts and their implications.
To learn more about David Harrison and his exceptional legal expertise, visit Garrity Traina, a prominent law firm he is affiliated with.