WILMINGTON, Del.— A Delaware judge on Jan. 3 denied an excess insurer’s motion to dismiss declaratory judgment claims in a directors and officers liability coverage dispute but dismissed a breach of contract claim, finding that the insured failed to plead that the excess insurer breached any present coverage duties.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A shareholder sued software company DocuSign Inc. and certain of its current and former senior executives on Dec. 22 in New York federal court, alleging that the defendants misrepresented the impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on the company’s business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California-based online purveyor of academic support services and several of its senior executives materially misled investors in violation of federal securities laws by failing to disclose that the company’s revenue growth was a temporary benefit of nationwide remote learning in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic and would not last, a shareholder argues in a Dec. 22 complaint filed in California federal court.
SAN DIEGO — Ruling that the lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a drug company and several of its current and former senior executives has three times failed to sufficiently plead an actionable misstatement or omission in alleging that the defendants failed to disclose the extent of severe adverse results in patients treated with the company’s Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PD psychosis) treatment drug or its alleged involvement in an illegal kickback scheme, a federal judge in California on Jan. 3 denied the lead plaintiff a fourth attempt to do so.
NEW YORK — Letting stand its ruling that vacated both a grant of new trials and a judgment of acquittal by a New York federal court, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 29 denied petitions for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc from two former hedge fund executives convicted of charges including securities fraud in an alleged scheme that involved a reinsurer and related entities.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action against a medical marijuana grower and others have failed to amend their pleadings to allow them to sufficiently plead scienter in alleging that the defendants misrepresented the quality of their growing facilities and failed to disclose related-party transactions in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Florida ruled Dec. 30 in dismissing the lead plaintiffs’ second amended complaint with prejudice.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal jury on Jan. 3 found that Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes is guilty of four counts of wire fraud and not guilty of four other counts and left unanswered questions on three remaining counts that she misled investors and patients about blood testing technology that provided unreliable results to patients or didn’t work at all.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A shareholder in an oil and gas exploration company on Dec. 13 sued the company and its officers in New York federal court contending that they violated federal securities laws when they issued false and misleading statements that caused him and other investors to purchase stock at artificially inflated prices.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action against social media networking website Facebook Inc. and three of its senior executives have once again failed to cure pleading deficiencies in alleging that the defendants violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting company’s privacy and data protection practices, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 20 in dismissing the action with prejudice.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 20 dismissed shareholder claims in a securities class action against a company and certain of its current and former senior executives alleging that the defendants concealed that its revenues and profits had been diverted to “undisclosed related parties,” ruling that a lead plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead any material misstatement or omission or scienter in making his federal securities law claims.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court misapplied Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent in a shareholder class action against an aviation parts manufacturing conglomerate and certain of its senior executives when it granted summary judgment in their favor because the Ninth Circuit’s ruling did not find that statements of present progress toward a goal were forward-looking “unless they contain highly specific information about a company’s present circumstances,” two pension funds argue in a Dec. 15 appellant brief filed in the Ninth Circuit.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois should deny a motion for reconsideration or interlocutory appeal in a securities class action against retail pharmacy chain Walgreen Co. and two of its former senior executives in a shareholder class action alleging that the defendants failed to disclose that the company would not be able to hit its earning goals for fiscal year 2016 after merging with another pharmacy company because the defendants have failed to meet their burden of showing that such “extraordinary relief” is warranted, the lead plaintiff in the action argues in a Dec. 17 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court.
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on Dec. 16 granted preliminary approval to a $90 million proposed settlement between the lead plaintiffs in a securities class action against Altria Group Inc., e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. and the companies’ executives in which shareholders said the defendants concealed the regulatory and legal risks associated with Juul’s alleged youth marketing when Altria acquired 35% of the company in December 2018.
DALLAS — A shareholder in a hydraulic fracturing company on Dec. 15 sued the company and its officers in Texas federal court alleging that they violated securities laws when they filed “materially incomplete and misleading” documents in connection with a planned merger.
NEW ORLEANS — A divided en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 ruled that defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action may challenge whether SEC administrative law judges (ALJs) are constitutionally protected from removal because the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 does not disturb a federal district court’s jurisdiction over the defendant’s “structural constitutional claims.”
RICHMOND, Va. — Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action against Altria Group Inc., e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. and the companies’ executives asked a federal judge in Virginia on Dec. 9 to grant preliminary approval to a $90 million proposed settlement that would bring an end to shareholder claims alleging that the defendants concealed the regulatory and legal risks associated with Juul’s alleged youth marketing when Altria acquired 35 percent of the company in December 2018.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 declined review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in an appeal of a clawback suit filed by the court-appointed receiver for Stanford International Bank (SIB) stemming from R. Allen Stanford’s massive Ponzi scheme in which a panel determined that the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act’s (TUFTA) good faith affirmative defense does not allow SIB investors to retain fraudulent transfers they received while on inquiry notice of the scheme.
NEW YORK — After what he deemed a “prolonged interlocutory appeals saga that has prompted three decisions from the Second Circuit, one from the Supreme Court, and untold pages of cumulative briefing,” a federal judge in New York on Dec. 8 granted class certification in a securities class action against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and certain of its former senior executives stemming from their alleged misrepresentation pertaining to four collateralized debt obligation transactions.
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 1 affirmed a federal district court’s dismissal of shareholder claims in a securities class action against an information technology (IT) company and two of its senior officers stemming from alleged misrepresentations the defendants made regarding the company’s reorganization plan, ruling that the shareholders failed to sufficiently plead scienter on the part of the defendants individually or holistically, as required.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court’s dismissal of an investor’s claims in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against current and former executive officers and directors of clothing retailer The Gap Inc. over the company’s lack of racial and ethnic diversity on its board of directors and senior management team was proper because the investor failed to sufficiently honor the company’s forum-selection clause in bringing her lawsuit, the officers and directors argue in a Dec. 8 appellee brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.