Noteworthy Cases & Achievements:
Mr. Harrison represents the New York City Pension Funds in the long-standing securities class action against the largest for-profit hospital system in the United States. He played a leading role in achieving the unanimous reversal of the dismissal of the case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and successfully opposed Supreme Court review. Norfork Cty. Ret. Sys. v. Community Health Sys., Inc., 877 F.3d 687 (6th Cir. 2017), cert. denied. 139 S. Ct. 310 (2018). After 8-1/2 years of litigation, the action settled for $53 million, pending court approval in June 2020.
Mr. Harrison is litigating ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims on behalf of a union fund that invested in mortgage-backed securities. Powell v. Ocwen Fin. Corp. (S.D.N.Y.). In a case a first impression, the court held that EIRSA’s exclusive statutory authority to sue for misconduct trumped the standard provisions barring direct lawsuits in the governing trust indentures.
Mr. Harrison took the lead in the Second Circuit briefing that addressed whether a physician whistleblower who revealed a scheme to misappropriate HIPAA-protected baby information from hospital NICUs was an original source of kickback claims under the False Claims Act. Susan Vierczhalek, M.D. v. MedImmune, Inc., No. 19-93 (2d Cir. 2019).
Mr. Harrison prosecuted the class action Juniper Networks Securities Litigation, which involved a $900 million financial restatement resulting from the concealed backdating of millions of director and officer stock options. After four years of litigation, the Court approved a $169.5 million settlement with Juniper and Ernst & Young LLP, the company’s auditors.
Mr. Harrison prosecuted claims on behalf of a large financial institution in the Countrywide Financial Corp. MBS Litigation, achieving a recovery substantially higher than the percentage of losses recovered by investors in the class case. Mr. Harrison litigated the class action In re Luminent Mortgage Capital, Inc. Securities Litigation, which resulted from the collapse and bankruptcy of Luminent Mortgage Capital, a company that invested in leveraged mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans. The Court praised the settlement as particularly excellent due to the bankruptcy proceedings’ complexity and the recovery.
Mr. Harrison prosecuted state law class action claims against investment advisors that funneled monies to Bernard Madoff, achieving a much higher recovery than the class settlement. He also litigated class breach of contract claims under state law on behalf of variable annuitants and life insurance policyholders of AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co., and addressed in the trial and appellate courts whether SLUSA preclusion and dismissal was addressed.
Mr. Harrison litigated the WorldCom Securities Litigation, where the firm’s pension fund clients recovered 100 percent of their Securities Act damages sustained from their investment in WorldCom’s defaulted bonds. Mr. Harrison also has extensive expertise pursuing claims against third parties involved in the insolvency and bankruptcy of large financial institutions such as First Executive Life Insurance Company, Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, Reliance Insurance Company, and First Central Insurance Company.
With Barbara Hart, Mr. Harrison recently published the article “Another Alarm Blast as the Second Circuit Rejects Class Action Tolling of the Statuses of Repose” in the third quarter of 2013 edition of The NAPPA Report, the Journal of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. Mr. Harrison also co-authored “Don’t Bend ‘American Pipe’” New York Law Journal, November 7, 2012, and “NEC IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs & Co.: The Implication on Class Standing and Why We Should Think About Amici Support Now,” The NAPPA Report, Vol. 26, Number 4, November 2012.
J.D. and L.L.M. New York University School of Law
B.A. Villanova University
New York; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 8th, 11th, and 9th Circuits; the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York