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  • Southern District Of Florida Dismisses Suit Against French Content Moderation Company And Previews Acceptable Amended Complaint
    06/04/2024

    On May 22, 2024, Judge Cecilia M. Altonoga of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted a motion to dismiss a putative shareholder action asserting claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a French company that provides outsourced content-moderation services for social media platforms (the “Company”) and certain of its former executives (the “Individual Defendants”). City of Warren Gen. Emps.’ Ret. Sys. v. Teleperformance SE, No. 23-cv-24580 (S.D. Fla. May 22, 2024). The complaint alleged that defendants made false and misleading statements about the treatment and training of the Company’s content moderators and the Company’s plan to exit the “highly egregious portion” of the content-moderation business. Judge Altonoga dismissed the complaint without prejudice, holding that plaintiffs did not adequately plead as a threshold matter that they purchased the Company’s shares within the United States and that plaintiffs had engaged in improper “puzzle pleading” in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(1). Nevertheless, construing the complaint generously and relying on the parties’ briefing to organize the alleged misstatements, the Court identified several alleged misstatements that would be actionable, as pled, in an amended complaint with the noted deficiencies cured. 

  • Sixth Circuit Affirms District Court’s Dismissal Of Putative Securities Class Action Against Car Insurance Company For Failure To State A Claim
    05/14/2024

    On April 29, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action asserting claims under the Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, alleging that a car insurance technology company (the “Company”), certain of its officers, and the underwriters of the Company’s initial public offering (“IPO”) misled investors in the Company’s initial public offering materials. Kolominsky v. Root, Inc., No. 23-3392 (6th Cir. Apr. 29, 2024). Reviewing the district court decision de novo, the Court held that the complaint sounded in fraud and that the heightened pleading standard required by Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applied to the Securities Act claims and that the challenged statements were not actionable because they were based either on past performance and historical data or protected by the “Bespeaks Caution” doctrine. 

  • Southern District Of California Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Medical Device Company For Failure To Adequately Allege Misrepresentations And Scienter
    05/07/2024

    On April 30, 2024, Judge Marilyn L. Huff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed with leave to amend a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a medical device company and certain of its former officers. Lowe v. Tandem Diabetes Care Inc., 2024 WL 1898473 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 30, 2024). Plaintiffs alleged that the company made misrepresentations regarding the demand for its products. The Court held plaintiffs failed to adequately allege that any challenged statement was false at the time it was made and also failed to adequately allege scienter.

  • Southern District Of New York Largely Denies Motion To Dismiss Putative Class Action Against Dental Product Manufacturer
    05/07/2024

    On May 1, 2024, Judge Arun Subramanian of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York largely denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a manufacturer of dental products and certain of its former executives. San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund v. Dentsply Sirona Inc., –—F. Supp. 3d—, 2024 WL 1898512 (S.D.N.Y. May 1, 2024). Plaintiffs alleged the company made misrepresentations regarding its inventory, supply chain, product quality, and overall financial health. The Court held that plaintiffs’ allegations were largely sufficient as to the required elements of falsity, scienter, and loss causation, but the Court dismissed allegations regarding certain alleged misrepresentations and claims against one former executive.

  • Fifth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Dismissal Of Putative Securities Fraud Class Action Against Amusement Park Company For Lack Of Standing
    04/23/2024

    On April 18, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the dismissal of and reinstated a putative shareholders’ class action against an amusement park company (the Company”) and certain of its executives, asserting claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Okla. Firefighters & Pension Ret. Sys. v. Six Flags Entm’t Corp., No. 23-10696 (5th Cir. Apr. 18, 2024). The district court granted the Company’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that plaintiff lacked standing because it purchased Company shares too late to have relied on any actionable misstatements, and therefore dismissed the action with prejudice. Reviewing the district court’s decision de novo, the Court reversed, finding that plaintiffs’ economic loss was fairly traceable to the alleged misconduct because the Company’s alleged fraud had not been fully disclosed when plaintiff purchased the stock. We previously covered the district court’s decision here.

  • Second Circuit Affirms District Court’s Summary Judgment Dismissal Of Securities Fraud Class Action Against Pharmaceutical Company
    04/23/2024

    On April 15, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed in a non-precedential summary order the summary judgment dismissal of securities fraud claims against a pharmaceutical company (the “Company”) under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. In re Mylan N.V. Sec. Litig., No. 23-720-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 15, 2024). Reviewing the district court decision de novo, the Court held that appellants waived their argument related to scienter and that their failure to disaggregate the losses caused by the Company’s alleged omissions warranted summary judgment for defendants. 

  • Supreme Court Unanimously Holds Item 303 Violation, Standing Alone, Cannot Support A “Pure Omission” Claim Under Section 10(b) Of The Exchange Act
    04/16/2024

    On April 12, 2024, the United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which held that Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 permitted a private right of action based solely on an issuer’s alleged failure to disclose a known trend or uncertainty required to be disclosed under Item 303 of Regulation S‑K. Macquarie Infrastructure Corp. v. Moab Partners, L.P., —U.S.—, 2024 WL 1588706 (2024). As explained in our prior post addressing the oral argument before the Supreme Court, the case concerned whether a company that operates a portfolio of infrastructure-related businesses needed to disclose that a proposed regulation by a United Nations agency would negatively impact one of its subsidiary’s businesses. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Sotomayor explained that the “pure omission” of information required to be disclosed by Item 303—i.e., a situation where there is no allegation that the omission rendered any affirmative statement misleading—is insufficient to support a claim under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act.

  • Ninth Circuit Reinstates Putative Class Action Against Children’s Entertainment Company, Holding Actionable Misstatements And Loss Causation Adequately Alleged
    04/16/2024

    On April 5, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a company that licenses children’s entertainment content and certain of its officers. In re Genius Brands Int’l, Inc. Sec. Litig., —F.4th—, 2024 WL 1473942 (9th Cir. 2024). Plaintiffs alleged that the company made actionable misstatements after it was told that its shares would be delisted from the NASDAQ exchange. The Court held that plaintiffs adequately alleged that the company’s conduct rendered certain challenged statements misleading, that plaintiffs adequately alleged loss causation for certain claims, and that one claim was appropriately dismissed for failure to plead loss causation.

  • Southern District Of New York Narrows Claims In Putative Class Action Against China Based Real Estate Brokerage Company
    03/26/2024

    On February 26, 2024, Judge Gregory H. Woods of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York narrowed claims in a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities Act of 1933 against a China-based real estate brokerage company, certain of its executives, and the underwriters in connection with a secondary offering by the company. Saskatchewan Healthcare Emps.’ Pension Plan v. KE Holdings Inc., 2024 WL 775195 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2024). Plaintiff alleged, based largely on a short-seller report, that the company made misrepresentations that significantly overstated the gross transaction value (“GTV”) of real estate transactions facilitated by the company, the number of agents and stores using its online platform, and the commissions the company received. Id. at *3–7. The Court held that plaintiff adequately alleged misrepresentations with respect to certain statements but failed to adequately allege scienter, and therefore largely declined to dismiss the Securities Act claim but dismissed the Exchange Act claim with leave to replead.

  • Southern District Of New York Declines To Dismiss Putative Class Action Against Financial Institution Regarding Alleged Misstatements About Internal Controls
    03/26/2024

    On February 23, 2024, Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York largely denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a financial institution and certain of its executives. In re Barclays PLC Sec. Litig., 2024 WL 757385 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2024). Plaintiff alleged that the company had issued securities in excess of what it had registered for with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which allegedly rendered misleading certain of its statements regarding compliance with securities laws and internal controls. Id. While the Court held that certain alleged misrepresentations were adequately pleaded to survive a motion to dismiss, the Court dismissed claims as to statements made after the alleged over-issuances were disclosed and rejected plaintiff’s control person liability theory as to certain defendants.

  • Southern District Of New York Grants In Part And Denies In Part Motion To Dismiss Putative Class Action Complaint Against Software Company For Failing To Disclose A Fake Customer-Review Scheme
    03/26/2024

    On March 5, 2024, Judge John P. Cronan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted in part, and denied in part, a motion to dismiss a putative shareholders’ class action, alleging that a software company (the “Company”), several of its executives and directors (“Individual Defendants”), and three banks who underwrote the Company’s initial public offering (“IPO”) violated Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. Lian v. Tuya Inc., 22 Civ. 6792 (JPC) (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 5, 2024). Plaintiff alleged that the Company failed to disclose at the time of its IPO, as required by Items 105 and 303 of Regulation S-K, that its sales and growth could be impacted by the involvement of a significant percentage of its customers in a pervasive and far-reaching fake customer reviews scheme. Furthermore, plaintiff alleged that the Company’s failure to disclose the scheme rendered several statements in the IPO registration statement (“Registration Statement”) false and misleading. The Court dismissed the claims predicated upon Items 105 and 303 but found the Section 11 claims based upon alleged misstatements in the Registration Statement to be sufficiently pled.

  • Western District Of Washington Grants Motion To Dismiss Proposed Class Action Against Software Company And Its Board Of Directors
    03/26/2024

    On March 1, 2024, Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington dismissed with prejudice a putative shareholders’ class action against a software company (the “Company”) and its Board of Directors (“Board”), alleging violations of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Sohovich v. Avalara, Inc., No. C22-1580 MJP (W.D. Wash. Mar. 1, 2024). Plaintiff alleged that the Company and its Board misled investors to vote to approve its $8.4 billion sale—priced at $93.50 per share—allegedly by deflating its financial projections and misrepresenting the Company’s performance and outlook in the proxy statement (“Proxy”). The Court found that plaintiff failed to adequately plead the falsity of any one of the four misstatements and dismissed it with prejudice. 

  • Southern District Of New York Permits Putative Class Action Against Ride Hailing Company To Proceed
     
    03/26/2024

    On March 14, 2024, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied defendants’ motions to dismiss a putative class action against a China-based ride hailing company, certain of its officers and directors, and the underwriters of the company’s IPO, asserting claims under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In re Didi Global Inc. Sec. Litig., 2024 WL 1119483 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2024). Plaintiffs alleged that the company omitted from its filings in connection with its New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) IPO that the Chinese government had directed it to postpone its IPO, with the Chinese government imposing penalties after the company allegedly disregarded this directive. The Court held that plaintiffs’ allegations were adequate to state a claim with respect to nearly all of their asserted claims.

  • Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Putative Securities Class Action Against Biopharmaceutical Company Over Statements It Had Developed A COVID “Cure”
    03/25/2024
    On March 25, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed a trial court decision dismissing a putative securities class action brought by investors against a biopharmaceutical company (“Company”) and certain of its officers and executives, alleging violations Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5. In re Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 22-55641 (9th Cir. Mar. 25, 2024). Plaintiff alleged that defendants made false statements about developments regarding the Company’s new COVID-19 antibody treatment, which allegedly misled investors and the public to believe that the Company had discovered a “cure” for the virus in order to boost the Company’s stock prices to improve its allegedly “dire financial situation.” Judge Anthony J. Battaglia of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed plaintiff’s claims without prejudice, holding that plaintiff had not plausibly pleaded falsity or scienter. The trial court entered judgment after plaintiff failed to file an amended pleading. Plaintiff appealed and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that (1) the allegedly misleading statements were inactionable puffery and (2) standing alone, the Company’s allegedly poor financial position was not sufficient to warrant an inference of scienter.
  • Third Circuit Affirms District Court’s Dismissal Of Suit Against Vaccine Developer
    03/21/2024
    On March 21, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action against a biopharmaceutical company (the “Company”) and certain of its officers under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. In re Ocugen, Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 23-1570 (3d Cir. Mar. 21, 2024). Plaintiffs alleged that the Company’s statements and omissions about its partnership with an Indian biotechnology company to develop a COVID-19 vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) were false and misleading. The Court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the complaint with prejudice based on plaintiffs’ failure to allege a material misrepresentation.
  • Eastern District Of New York Grants Motion To Dismiss Proposed Class Action Against Mobile Game Development Company
    03/18/2024

    On March 18, 2024, Judge Rachel P. Kovner of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative shareholders’ class action against a mobile game development company (the “Company”), its officers and directors, and its underwriters, alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”). In re Playtika Seg. Litig., No. 21-CV-06571-RPK-SJB (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 18, 2024). Plaintiff alleged that the Company failed to disclose an infrastructure overhaul of two of its most popular mobile games in its initial public offering (“IPO”) registration statement even though the overhaul was in progress at the time of the Company’s IPO. The Court held that plaintiff failed to adequately allege that omissions rendered the registration statement misleading, and that Item 105 did not impose a duty to disclose specific infrastructure projects that allegedly were omitted. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice.

  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses Proposed Securities Class Action Against Biopharmaceutical Company Alleging Failure To Disclose Progress Of Competitor
    02/21/2024

    On February 4, 2024, Judge Arun Subramanian of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a proposed securities class action against a biopharmaceutical company (the “Company”) alleging violations under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).  Merritt v. Molecular Partners AG, 22-CV-5925 (AS) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 4, 2024).
  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Media Company For Failure To Adequately Allege Misrepresentations
     
    02/13/2024

    On February 5, 2024, Judge Valerie Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Act of 1933 against a media company and certain of its officers and directors.  Ohio Public Emps. Ret. Sys. v. Discovery, Inc., 2024 WL 446466 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2024).  Plaintiffs alleged that the offering documents in connection with the merger that created the company contained misrepresentations that painted a misleadingly positive image of the strength of the combined company.  The Court held that none of the six categories of misrepresentations alleged by plaintiffs was actionable.
  • Northern District of California Dismisses Securities Class Action Against Software Company
     
    01/31/2024


    On January 22, 2024, Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action complaint alleging that a software company (the “Company”) and certain of its executives violated Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. City of Hollywood Firefighters Pension Fund v. Atlassian Corp., 3:23-cv-00519-WHO (N.D. Cal. Jan. 22, 2024). Plaintiffs alleged that the Company made false and misleading statements about the strength of its financial outlook. The Court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend, holding that plaintiffs failed to allege falsity with respect to most of the alleged misrepresentations or sufficient facts giving rise to a strong inference of scienter with respect to one omission that was alleged plausibly.

  • Supreme Court Considers Whether An Item 303 Violation, Standing Alone, Can Support An Exchange Act Claim
     
    01/23/2024

    On January 16, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Macquarie Infrastructure Corp. v. Moab Partners, No. 22-1165, a case considering whether a private plaintiff may plead a claim under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act based on an issuer’s failure to disclose a known trend or uncertainty required to be disclosed under Item 303 of Regulation S-K even without identifying a particular statement rendered misleading by the alleged omission.
  • Central District Of California Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Medical Apparel Company For Failure To Adequately Allege Scienter And Falsity
     
    01/23/2024


    On January 17, 2024, Judge Otis D. Wright, II of the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action asserting claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act against a medical apparel company, certain of its officers, and the underwriters of its stock offerings.  Ryan v. FIGS, Inc., 2024 WL 187001 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 17, 2024). 

  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses With Prejudice Claims Against Pharmaceutical Company Alleging Material Misstatements And Omissions In A Proxy Statement
     
    01/09/2024


    On December 28, 2023, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a putative class action alleging that a biopharmaceutical company (the “Company”) and certain of its officers and directors violated Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 14a-9 based on alleged misstatements in a proxy statement (the “Proxy”) filed in connection with the acquisition of the Company by its controlling shareholder. Zappia v. Movant Scis. Ltd., No. 23-cv-8097 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2023). Plaintiff alleged that the law firm engaged by the Company’s special committee (the “Special Committee”) to consider the acquisition had a conflict of interest and that this rendered the Proxy misleading. The Court held that the complaint failed to allege the existence of a conflict or a misrepresentation.

  • Northern District Of California Pares Claims In Putative Class Action Regarding Purchase Of Social Media Platform
     
    12/19/2023


    On December 11, 2023, Judge Charles Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California narrowed a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the purchaser of a social media company. Pampena v. Musk, — F. Supp. 3d — 2023 WL 8588853 (N.D. Cal. 2023). Plaintiffs alleged that they sold shares in the target company at depressed prices after the purchaser allegedly made material misstatements suggesting that he would not go forward with the acquisition. The Court held that certain of the challenged statements were actionable and granted leave to replead with respect to the others.

  • Southern District Of Florida Grants In Part And Denies In Part Motion To Dismiss Proposed Securities Class Action Against Electric Vehicle Charging Company
     
    12/13/2023

    On November 27, 2023, Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a proposed securities class action alleging that an electric vehicle charging company and certain of its officers violated Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Bush v. Blink Charging Co., No. 1:20-cv-23527-KMW (S.D. Fla. Nov. 27, 2023).  Plaintiffs allege that the Company made false and misleading statements and omissions concerning the size and functionality of the Company’s electric vehicle (“EV”) charging station network.  The Court dismissed plaintiffs’ claim as to the size of the EV charging station network, but permitted plaintiffs’ claim regarding its functionality.
  • Southern District Of New York Grants Motion To Dismiss Putative Securities Class Action Against Chinese Private-Sector Education Company
     
    12/13/2023

    On December 6, 2023, Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action brought against an operator of private schools in Western China.  Dagan Invs., LLC v. First High-Sch. Educ. Grp. Co., 2023 BL 442686, No. 22-cv-3831 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2023).  Plaintiff, on behalf of a purported class of U.S. investors, alleged that the Company violated Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by making material misstatements and omissions about the likelihood and severity of impending Chinese government regulations impacting the private education sector.
  • Eastern District Of New York Grants Motion To Dismiss Proposed Securities Class Action Against Russian Electronic Payments Company
     
    11/14/2023

    On November 3, 2023, Judge Rachel P. Kovner of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a proposed putative securities class action alleging that a Russian electronic payments company (the “Company”) and certain of its officers violated Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).  In re Qiwi PLC Sec. Litig., No. 1:20-cv-06054-RPK-CLP (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 3, 2023).
  • Southern District Of New York Grants In Part And Denies In Part Motion To Dismiss Securities Class Action Against Chinese Grocery Delivery Company
     
    11/14/2023

    On November 6, 2023, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action alleging that a Chinese grocery delivery company (the “Company”) violated Sections 11, 12(a), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).  Chen v. Missfresh Ltd., 1:22-cv-09836 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 6, 2023).
  • First Circuit Partially Revives Putative Class Action Against Pharmaceutical Company Alleging Misstatements About Clinical Trial Data
     
    11/01/2023

    On October 11, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its former executives.  Shash v. Biogen, Inc., —F.4th—, 2023 WL 6617278 (1st Cir. 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged that the company made misstatements and omissions regarding the clinical trial results of the company’s drug to treat Alzheimer’s.  The district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, but the First Circuit reversed the dismissal in part, holding that plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient with respect to one challenged statement, while affirming that plaintiffs failed to adequately allege scienter with respect to other challenged statements.
  • Eastern District Of New York Grants Motion To Dismiss Proposed Securities Class Action Complaint Against Battery Recycling Company That Went Public Through A Merger With A SPAC
     
    11/01/2023

    On October 6, 2023, Judge Hector Gonzalez of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action against a battery recycling company and the former officers and directors of the SPAC that merged with the Company in 2021, alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 14(a) the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Lanigan Grp., Inc. v. Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., 22-cv-02222 (HG) (RML) (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2023).
  • Northern District Of Illinois Narrows Putative Class Action Against Airplane Manufacturer
     
    10/11/2023

    On September 18, 2023, Judge Manish S. Shah of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois narrowed a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against an airplane manufacturer and its former CEO and CFO.  College Ret. Equities Fund v. Boeing Co., 2023 WL 6065260 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 18, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged the company made misrepresentations regarding two crashes of a new model of plane and the company’s responsive measures in an effort to return the fleet to service.  The Court held that various challenged statements were not actionable because plaintiffs failed to adequately allege falsity or scienter.  With respect to the remaining challenged statements, the Court further pared the claims by holding that loss causation was not sufficiently alleged in connection with certain purported corrective disclosures.
  • Eastern District Of New York Sustains Securities Act Claims And Dismisses Exchange Act Claims In A Putative Class Action Against An International Portfolio Management Company
     
    10/11/2023

    On September 25, 2023, Judge Pamela K. Chen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action alleging that an IT portfolio management services company, its CEO, and its CFO violated Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Handal v. Tenet Fintech Grp. Inc., No. 1:21-cv-06461 (PKC) (RER) (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 25, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged that defendants made material misstatements regarding several business transactions in the Company’s registration statement and the CEO’s subsequent public statements.  The Court denied the motion with respect to the Securities Act claims but granted it with respect to the Exchange Act claim because plaintiffs failed to adequately allege reliance.
  • District Of New Jersey Dismisses Securities Fraud Claims Against Blockchain Support Company With Prejudice After Twice Granting Leave To Amend
     
    09/06/2023

    On August 25, 2023, Judge Georgette Castner of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed with prejudice a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act against a company that supports and operates blockchain technologies and certain of its executives and investors.  Takata v. Riot Blockchain, Inc., No. 18-cv-2293, slip op. (D.N.J. Aug. 25, 2023), ECF No. 251.  The Court’s prior decision dismissing the action with leave to amend was the subject of our prior post.  As this was plaintiff’s third amended complaint and the Court determined that plaintiff still failed to adequately allege misrepresentations or scienter, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice.
    Categories : Misstatement/OmissionScheme
  • Ninth Circuit Revives Putative Class Action Against Computer Graphics Hardware Producer, Holding That Misleading Statements And Scienter Were Adequately Alleged
     
    09/06/2023

    On August 25, 2023, a sharply divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act against a producer of graphics processing units and certain of its executives.  E. Ohman J:or Fonder AB v. NVIDIA Corp., —F.4th—, 2023 WL 5496507 (9th Cir. 2023).  As discussed in our prior post, plaintiffs alleged that the company made misrepresentations regarding the extent to which its revenues and growth depended on sales of graphics processing units to the volatile cryptocurrency mining industry.  The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs adequately alleged that statements by two executives were misleading, and adequately alleged scienter as to the company’s CEO.
  • Southern District Of New York Grants In Part And Denies In Part Motion To Dismiss Class Action Against Cryptocurrency Mining Company
     
    08/22/2023

    On August 10, 2023, Judge Ronnie Abrams of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action alleging that a cryptocurrency mining company (the “Company”) and certain of its officers and directors violated Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).  Winter v. Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc., No. 22-CV-3088 (RA), 2023 WL 5152177 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 10, 2023).  Plaintiffs allege that the Company made false and misleading statements in its registration statement and prospectus filed in connection with the Company’s October 2021 initial public offering (“IPO”) regarding the Company’s supply chain risks.  The Court granted the motion to dismiss the Section 12(a)(2) claim of one plaintiff for lack of standing, but otherwise denied the motion to dismiss.
  • District Of Massachusetts Denies Motion To Dismiss Claims Based On Statements That A Lawsuit Against The Company Was “Without Merit”
     
    08/01/2023

    On July 24, 2023, Judge William G. Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted in part, and denied in part, a motion to dismiss a putative class action brought against a software company (the “Company”) and two of its executives for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  City of Fort Lauderdale Police & Firefighters’ Ret. Sys. V. Pegasystems Inc., No. CV 22-11220-WGY, 2023 WL 4706741 (D. Mass. July 24, 2023). The class action followed a decision in a separate civil trade secret case in which the Company was found to have maliciously misappropriated another software company’s trade secrets in violation of Virginia law.
  • Southern District Of New York Denies Food Delivery Company’s Motion To Dismiss Securities Class Action
     
    08/01/2023

    On July 25, 2023, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action against an online food ordering and delivery platform (the “Company”), alleging violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Steamship Trade Ass’n of Baltimore-Int’l Longshoreman’s Ass’n Pension Fund v. Olo Inc., No. 22-CV-8228 (JSR), 2023 WL 4744197 (S.D.N.Y. July 25, 2023).  Plaintiff alleged that the Company and two of its officers misled investors by (1) failing to disclose that one of its restaurant partners intended to terminate its partnership with the Company; and (2) misrepresenting the number of “active” restaurant locations that utilized the Company’s product.
  • Third Circuit Reverses In Part Dismissal Of Putative Class Action Against Insurance Company And Holds That The Complaint Adequately Alleged Falsity With Respect To One Of The Challenged Statements Based On Confidential Witness Allegations
     
    06/21/2023

    On June 13, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of a putative class action against an insurance company (the “Company”) and certain of its executives under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  City of Warren Police & Fire Ret. Sys. v. Prudential Fin., Inc., No. 21-1147, 2023 WL 3961128 (3d Cir. June 13, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged that the Company misled investors by misrepresenting the adequacy of their reserves, which are funds to pay for anticipated benefit claims by their policy holders.  The district court had held that plaintiffs failed to plead falsity with respect to all the alleged misstatements.  The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal on all but one of the alleged misstatements, holding that plaintiffs adequately alleged falsity with respect to that statement including through allegations attributed to a confidential informant, and remanded to the district court to consider the elements of loss causation and scienter.
  • Southern District Of New York Grants Software Company’s Motion To Dismiss In Proposed Investor Class Action
     
    06/21/2023

    On June 2, 2023, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a proposed class action against a software company (the “Company”), alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  In re Riskified Ltd. Sec. Litig., No. 1:22-cv-03545, 2023 WL 3791653 (S.D.N.Y. June 2, 2023).  The Company’s core product offering was a credit card fraud detection service for online merchants.  As part of this offering, the Company agreed to reimburse online merchants for any payment reversals or “chargebacks” resulting from fraudulent transactions that were disputed by cardholders.  Plaintiffs alleged that, in connection with the Company’s initial public offering (“IPO”) in July 2021, the Company made several misstatements and omissions concerning the Company increasingly taking on clients with higher chargeback rates, its ability to control chargeback rates, and COVID-19’s impact on its business.  The Court dismissed plaintiffs’ second amended complaint in its entirety, finding that plaintiffs failed to plead an actionable misstatement or omission.
  • Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Putative Class Action Under Section 14(a) For Failure To Adequately Allege Material Omissions And Loss Causation
     
    06/13/2023

    On June 1, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment dismissing claims under Sections 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a financial company and certain of its directors.  Karp v. First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., —F.4th—, 2023 WL 3743604, at *1 (4th Cir. 2023).  Plaintiff alleged that the company in which he held stock made misrepresentations in a proxy solicitation in connection with a proposed stock-for-stock merger with another company.  The Fourth Circuit held that plaintiff failed to allege any material omission from the proxy statement and also failed to establish loss causation.
  • Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Putative Class Action Against Pharmaceutical Company For Failure To Allege Misstatements and Scienter
     
    06/01/2023

    On May 16, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a putative class action asserting claims against a pharmaceutical company (the “Company”) under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Nandkumar v. AstraZeneca PLC, No. 22-2704-CV, 2023 WL 3477164 (2d Cir. May 16, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged that the Company made misstatements and omissions about the progress of their clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine.  The district court held that plaintiffs failed to plead falsity or scienter, a decision we previously covered.  The Second Circuit, in a summary order, affirmed the dismissal, holding that plaintiffs failed to plead with specificity facts that would explain why and how investors were misled.
  • Southern District Of New York Grants Motion To Dismiss Securities Fraud Claims Against Fitness Technology Company For Failure To Plead Actionable Misstatements And Falsity
     
    04/18/2023

    On March 30, 2023, Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a motion to dismiss a putative securities fraud class action brought against a fitness technology company (the “Company”) and certain of its executives. Robeco Capital Growth Funds SICAV – Robeco Global Consumer Trends v. Peloton Interactive, Inc., et al., No. 21-cv-9582 (ALC)(OTW) (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2023). Plaintiff alleged that defendants violated Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, by making material misstatements and omissions about the demand for the Company’s product following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court dismissed the amended complaint, holding that certain of defendants’ alleged statements were non-actionable under the PSLRA safe harbor, and that plaintiff had not alleged sufficient facts to demonstrate other statements were false when made.
  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Financial Institution For Failure To Adequately Allege Misrepresentations, Scienter, Or Scheme Liability
     
    04/18/2023

    On March 31, 2023, Judge John P. Cronan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against a financial institution that offered certain Exchange Traded Notes (the “ETN”) linked to a natural gas price index. Gomez v. Credit Suisse AG, No. 22 Civ. 115 (JPC) (BCM), 2023 WL 2744415 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2023).
  • Who Will Get The Last Laugh? Eastern District Of Virginia Dismisses Complaint Predicated On Statements Claimed To Be An April Fool’s Joke For Failure To Plead Foreign Parent’s Responsibility For U.S. Subsidiary’s “Joke,” But Grants Leave To Replead
     
    03/24/2023

    On March 14, 2023, Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed without prejudice a putative class action against an automobile manufacturer, its U.S. based based subsidiary, and certain of its officers, asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In re Volkswagen AG Sec. Litig., 2023 WL 2505539 (E.D. Va. Mar. 14, 2023). Plaintiffs alleged that the company’s U.S. subsidiary misrepresented that the company would change its name to one suggesting an increased focus on electric vehicles, which the company later indicated had been intended as an April Fool’s joke. The Court held that plaintiffs adequately alleged falsity and scienter but failed to show that the challenged statements were sufficiently connected to the securities at issue to be actionable.
  • California District Court Grants Motion To Dismiss Securities Class Action Against Hearing Aid Company, Finding Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Falsity And Scienter
     
    02/28/2023

    On February 14, 2023, Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action alleging that a hearing aid company (the “Company”) and its officers, directors, and IPO underwriters falsely or misleadingly inflated the Company’s revenue and growth opportunities and allegedly downplayed an insurance audit, leading to a Department of Justice investigation for insurance fraud.  In re Eargo, Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 21-cv-08597 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) against all defendants, and violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against the Company and its officers.  The Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that plaintiffs failed to sufficiently plead falsity and scienter.
  • Central District Of California Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Electric Automobile Company For Failure To Adequately Allege Actionable Misrepresentations
     
    02/28/2023

    On February 16, 2023, Judge Josephine L. Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed without prejudice a putative securities class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, and Regulation S K against an electric automobile company, certain of its executives and directors, and underwriters in the company’s initial public offering. Crews v. Rivian Automotive, Inc., No. 2:22-cv-01524-JLS-E, slip op. (C.D. Cal. Feb. 16, 2023), ECF No. 149. Plaintiffs alleged that the company made various misrepresentations relating to the pricing and profitability of the company’s vehicles, while allegedly knowing that it would need to increase pricing to address rising costs. The Court held that plaintiffs failed to adequately allege any false statement or actionable omission.
  • Northern District Of California Holds That SPAC Investors Have Standing To Sue Regarding Alleged Misstatements About A Different Entity, But Dismisses Putative Class Action For Failure To Allege Material Misstatements
     
    01/18/2023

    On January 11, 2023, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action asserting claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(b) against an electric vehicle company and its CEO.  In re CCIV/Lucid Motors Sec. Litig., No. 4:21-cv-9323, slip op. (N.D. Cal. Jan. 11, 2023), ECF No. 151.  Plaintiffs, who allegedly purchased shares in a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (“SPAC”) that later merged with the electric vehicle company (with the electric vehicle company becoming the surviving entity of the merger), alleged that, prior to the merger, the company had made misrepresentations and omissions about its value.  Plaintiffs claimed to have invested in the SPAC after the press had announced the SPAC was “in talks” with the electric vehicle company, but before the merger was officially announced by the SPAC and the company themselves.  Following post-merger statements that allegedly contradicted the company’s pre-merger statements, plaintiffs sued, claiming that defendants’ alleged misrepresentations regarding the electric vehicle company’s value had caused them to pay an inflated price for the SPAC’s stock.  The Court held that plaintiffs had standing to sue the electric vehicle company, but dismissed their claims for failure to identify any material misrepresentations because the challenged statements were made before the SPAC and the electric vehicle company had announced or confirmed that they were in merger discussions.
  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Online Sports Gaming Company For Failure To Allege Actionable Misrepresentations Or Scienter
     
    01/18/2023

    On January 10, 2023, Judge Paul Engelmayer of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against an online sports gaming and betting company and certain of its executives.  In re DraftKings Inc. Sec. Litig., 2023 WL 145591 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2023).  Plaintiffs alleged that the company made misrepresentations and omissions regarding whether a target company it acquired had gambling operations in jurisdictions where gambling was illegal.  The Court held that plaintiffs failed to adequately allege actionable misrepresentations or scienter.
  • Western District Of Washington Largely Declines To Dismiss Putative Class Action Against Online Real Estate Listing Company
     
    12/13/2022

    On December 7, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington largely denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against an online real estate listing company and certain of its executives.  Jaeger v. Zillow Group, Inc., 2022 WL 17486297 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 7, 2022). Plaintiff alleged that the company made misrepresentations in connection with a real estate purchasing program.  While the Court dismissed one allegation as a non-actionable forward-looking statement, the Court held that the remainder of plaintiff’s allegations stated a claim.
  • Southern District Of New York Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Beverage Manufacturer For Failure To Adequately Allege Misrepresentations
     
    12/13/2022

    On December 5, 2022, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a putative class action asserting claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against an alcoholic beverage manufacturer and certain of its executives.  Siegel v. Boston Beer Co., Inc., 2022 WL 17417111 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2022). Plaintiff alleged that the company made misleading statements related to the performance of the company’s products in the hard seltzer market as the pandemic subsided and consumers returned to bars and restaurants. The Court assessed three categories of alleged misstatements and held that none was actionable.
  • Eastern District Of New York Court Grants In Part Motion To Dismiss Putative Securities Class Action Brought Against Space Exploration Company
     
    11/15/2022

    On November 7, 2022, Judge Allyne R. Ross of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted in part a motion to dismiss a putative securities class action against a space exploration company (the “Company”), its founder, and certain of its current and former executives. Kusnier and Scheele v. Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc., et al, No. 21-cv-03070-ARR (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 7, 2022). Plaintiffs alleged that defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act (the “Exchange Act”), Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Sections 20(a) and 20A of the Exchange Act, by making materially false and misleading statements regarding the safety history and functioning capabilities of the Company’s spacecraft. The Court granted the motion in part but found sufficient at the pleading stage certain alleged misstatements.
     
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