Gladiator of the Month: Benny C. Goodman III

January 2017

In honor of our 2016 year-end Gladiators video and being referred to as gladiators in the courtroom, this monthly series will highlight a Robbins Geller attorney who has shown exceptional merit in a case or has a historical track record of success.

Unprecedented. Landmark. Exceptional. These three words can all be used to describe the result of In re Community Health Sys., Inc. S'holder Derivative Litig., which was aggressively litigated by Benny Goodman and a team of Robbins Geller attorneys. On January 17, 2017, a settlement was approved by the court which provides for unprecedented corporate governance reforms and a $60 million cash payment to Community Health. The settlement is the largest shareholder derivative recovery ever in Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit.

The case resolves claims that the company’s directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties by causing Community Health to ignore Medicare and Medicaid regulations by developing admissions criteria that systematically steered patients into unnecessary inpatient admissions when they should have been treated as outpatients. The governance reforms obtained as part of the settlement include shareholder nomination of two independent directors, the appointment of an independent director as the Board’s Lead Director, a requirement that the Board’s Compensation Committee be comprised solely of independent directors, the implementation of an automatic clawback provision to recover compensation improperly paid to the company’s CEO or CFO, the establishment of an insider trading controls committee, and the adoption of a political expenditure disclosure policy.

Goodman has a long history of achieving groundbreaking recoveries as lead counsel in a number of shareholder derivative actions, making Community Health another win in a long string of triumphs. Notably, in In re Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. S’holder Derivative Litig., he recovered $25 million for the company, and in In re Google Inc. S’holder Derivative Litig., one result of his aggressive efforts was the creation of a $250 million fund to help combat rogue pharmacies from improperly selling drugs online.

For a closer look at who Goodman is as a person and not just an attorney, here are a few things you may not know about him:

(1) Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Teddy Roosevelt, because he believed that the only way to make your way in the world is to work extra hard. 

(2) What is your most marked characteristic?

Stubborn and loyal.

(3) Which words or phrases do you overuse the most?

“Relatively” and “I don’t disagree.”

Stay tuned for next month’s Gladiator!

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