FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 29 held that although an investor sufficiently alleged an injury in fact to establish that he has standing to bring his securities class action against a beverage maker and certain of its senior executives, he failed to properly state a claim for relief (Thomas W. Luczak v. National Beverage Corp., et al., No. 18-61631, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147170).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission will not recommend enforcement measures against Honeywell International Inc. for its reporting of asbestos liabilities related to Bendix Friction Materials after the agency wrapped up an investigation it started late last year, the company said in an Aug. 29 SEC filing.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court erred in finding that investors lacked standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to sue their former investment advisers for securities fraud under Louisiana law, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 28 in vacating the district court’s ruling and remanding (Joseph Broyles, et al. v. Commonwealth Advisors Inc., et al., No. 17-30092, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26070).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 28 upheld the conviction of an alleged Ponzi scheme participant, ruling that a federal district court did not err in denying her motion for acquittal on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud (United States v. Viktoriya Johnson, No. 18-13692, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25988).
SAN FRANCISCO — Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against a manufacturer of wearable fitness-tracking devices and certain of its executive officers have failed to plead impermissible fraud-by-hindsight in arguing that the defendants issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company’s revenue projects and demand for new products in violation of federal securities laws, the defendants argue in an Aug. 23 motion to dismiss (Stephen Lopes v. Fitbit Inc., et al., No. 18-6665, N.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 23 ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting class certification in a securities class action brought against the owner of private correctional and detention facilities and certain of its current and former top executives, denying the defendants’ petition for permission to appeal the class certification decision (In re CoreCivic Inc., et al., No. 19-0504, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25508).
SAN FRANCISCO— Adopting and signing a proposed judgment submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a California federal judge on Aug. 22 approved the commission’s $100 million civil penalty against Facebook Inc. for making misleading public statements about a known incident in which an analytics firm collected and sold the social network users’ personal data (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:19-cv-04241, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court did not err in dismissing a shareholder class action lawsuit against home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. and two of its former senior executives because the lead plaintiff’s amendments to its complaint failed to cure the scienter pleading deficiencies that had led the district court to previously dismiss the lead plaintiff’s earlier-filed consolidated complaint, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 19 (Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan v. Pier 1 Imports Inc., et al., No. 18-10998, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24660).
HOUSTON — A shareholder on Aug. 18 filed a securities class action lawsuit against a provider of seismic data acquisition, logistical support and processing and integrated reservoir geosciences services and certain of its senior executives in Texas federal court, arguing that the defendants issued a series of false and misleading statements in its Securities and Exchange Commission reporting documents over a four-year period in violation of federal securities laws (John Bodin v. SAExploration Holdings Inc., et al., No. 19-3089, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action is necessary because the appellate court’s reasoning in affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment has exacerbated a split among the federal circuits of appeal, as well as among several state courts of appeal, the defendant argues in a July 17 petition for writ of certiorari (Mitchell J. Stein v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 19-97, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2681).
PHILADELPHIA — A nonvoting board observer that is affiliated with an issuer’s placement agent is not a “person who, with his consent, is named in the registration statements as being or about to become a director [or] person performing similar functions” under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal panel ruled in a divided July 23 opinion (Obasi Investment Ltd., et al. v. Tibet Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 18-1849, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 21902).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 affirmed a federal district court’s dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit against a mortgage loan servicer and certain of its senior executives, ruling that the district court properly determined that a lead plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead any actionable misrepresentations or omissions in making its federal securities law claims (Karen A. Carvelli, et al. v. Ocwen Financial Corp., et al., No. 18-12250, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24284).
NEW YORK — A federal district court erred in dismissing state law claims in a market manipulation suit filed by former customers of a bankrupt broker-dealer because it incorrectly held that the former customers failed to plead damages, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in an Aug. 13 summary order (Mohammed Fezzani, et al. v. Isaac R. Dweck, et al., No. 18-1354, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24015).
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Aug. 13 vacated and remanded an investor suit against Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and other financial institutions to a state trial court with instructions for the court to conduct an examination of each defendant’s contacts with Utah and apply certain jurisdictional tests to determine whether specific personal jurisdiction exists over some of all of the defendants (Raser Technologies Inc. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, No. 20170325, Utah Sup., 2019 Utah LEXIS 126).
NEW YORK — A shareholder of an integrated medical and wellness cannabis operator filed a securities class action lawsuit against the company and certain of its current and former executive officers in New York federal court on Aug. 12, alleging that the defendants misrepresented the governmentally approved use of the company’s products in violation of federal securities law (Sherry Huggins v. Curaleaf Holdings Inc., et al., No. 19-4640, E.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A majority of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 12 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a first-level excess directors and officers liability insurer on a software company insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims, finding that the insured was not liable for any portion of an underlying settlement and the insured’s alleged breach was not the proximate cause of the insured’s purported damages (Genesis Insurance Co. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 17-17362, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23956).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 12 ruled that a pension fund failed to cure the pleading deficiencies that previously led to the dismissal of its first amended securities class action complaint against a generic drug company and certain of its current and former executive officers, dismissing the pension fund’s second amended complaint (SAC) without leave to amend (New York Hotel Trades Council & Hotel Association of New York City Inc. Pension Fund v. Impax Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 16-6557, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government on Aug. 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that it should not grant review of a securities fraud case because the appellate court correctly held that the lower court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to hold a hearing about the FBI’s leaks of grand jury material (William T. Walters v. United States, No. 18-1393, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A shareholder in a company that builds and maintains hydraulic fracturing wells on July 29 filed a class action in Delaware federal court contending that the company violated federal securities laws when it filed a misleading registration statement in its attempt to sell the company to another entity through a wholly owned subsidiary (Chad Wuollet v. C&J Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 19-1411, D. Del.).
HERTFORDSHIRE, England — Mylan N.V. on July 29 said it has reached a $30 million agreement-in-principle to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the misclassification of the EpiPen epinephrine autoinjector as a generic product to avoid paying rebates to the Medicaid program.