Successful defense of financial planning/investment firm.
We were successful on a motion to dismiss an action against a financial planning and investment firm and its employee, a certified financial planner, filed in Federal District Court in Maryland. The plaintiffs claimed that the financial planner advised them to purchase a life insurance policy that was indexed to the stock market and that he made certain representations about the expected return on investment, which never came to fruition. Instead, according to the plaintiffs, the value of the policy plummeted, and they lost significantly on their investment. The court dismissed all claims against the firm, agreeing that the company could not be liable for the alleged advice given to the plaintiffs by the financial planner, inasmuch as the firm did not exist at the time the alleged advice was given. Also, the court dismissed a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the financial planner, agreeing that both federal and state courts in Maryland do not recognize a standalone cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty when only monetary damages are sought. As well, the court dismissed a conversion claim against the financial planner, concluding that the plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient facts to plausibly demonstrate the financial planner wrongfully exercised ownership or dominion over their finances.