SAN FRANCISCO — A lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a developer of a “solid-state” electronic vehicle battery for the most part has sufficiently pleaded that the company and certain of its senior executives misrepresented the progress and effectiveness of their batteries in violation of federal securities law, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 14 in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge on Jan. 15 denied without prejudice investors’ motion for order directing a trustee to offer investors an option to keep their interest upon wind-down in a Securities Exchange Commission lawsuit alleging that the defendants fraudulently sold investment interests in life insurance policies, also denying without prejudice an expedited motion for an order directing the trustee to include in the proposed amendments to the trust agreement all policies where 100% of the fractional interests elect to “keep” and survey the investors as to their interest in a “keep” option.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Jan. 14 found that former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli engaged in anticompetitive conduct in his marketing of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim, ordered him barred for life from working in the drug industry and ordered him to disgorge $64 million in net profits from his monopolistic actions.
TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson defendants defended their attempt to supplement the class certification record in a case involving a securities action against the company on Jan. 11, arguing in a reply brief that a lawyer’s recent declaration shows that a news article revealed nothing about the presence of asbestos in talc that wasn’t already publicly available.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) does not bar investors’ state law fiduciary duty claims is not warranted because the panel correctly determined that the statute does not apply to investor claims and, thus, has not helped increase a split among the circuits as to SLUSA’s “in connection with” standard, the investors argue in a Dec. 15 opposition brief filed in the Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 1 requested that the Office of the Rhode Island Treasurer on behalf of the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island respond to a petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling substantially overturning a federal district court’s dismissal of shareholder claims in a securities class action against Google LLC, Google parent company Alphabet Inc. and others stemming from alleged misrepresentations the defendants made concealing data security and management integrity issues relating to the Google+ social media network.
LOS ANGELES — Dismissal of federal securities law claims in a shareholder class action against video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. and certain of its current and former senior executives stemming from their alleged concealment of workplace discrimination at the company is necessary because shareholders have failed to sufficiently plead any actionable misstatements or omissions or scienter in pleading their federal securities law claims, the defendants argue in a Jan. 11 motion to dismiss filed in California federal court.
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $12.75 million settlement in a class action against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives on claims that they misrepresented adverse clinical trial results for the company’s metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treatment candidate in violation of federal securities laws, ruling that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate.
PITTSBURGH — Investors sued a hydraulic fracturing company and its officers in Pennsylvania federal court on Dec. 28, contending that they violated securities laws when they issued materially false statements pertaining to a plan to acquire a rival company.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A health insurance provider and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors misrepresented the company’s ability to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in offering documents for the company’s initial public offering and in public statements throughout the class period in violation of federal securities law, a shareholder alleges in a securities class action filed Jan. 6 in New York federal court.
DALLAS — In Jan. 11 supplemental briefing, parties in a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action stemming from an alleged investment scheme involving the sale of unregistered offerings of oil and gas limited partnership interests asked a federal judge in Texas to determine whether the mandate rule limits the court’s ability to consider arguments the parties made in briefing on the SEC’s renewed motion for remedies.
NEW YORK — A federal district court did not err in dismissing lead plaintiffs’ second amended complaint against a generic drug maker and certain of its current and former senior executives alleging that the defendants failed to disclose supply chain issues with its primary supplier in violation of federal securities laws because the lead plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead scienter in stating his claims, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 11, affirming.
CHICAGO — In a 2-1 decision, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 7 ruled that a federal district court erred in dismissing a shareholder derivative lawsuit against 26 current and former executive officers and directors of Boeing Co. on the basis of forum non conveniens because a Boeing bylaw requiring derivative lawsuits against the company to be brought in Delaware state court runs afoul of Delaware corporation law.
CINCINNATI — In a divided opinion, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 6 declined to dismiss an appeal of an adverse class action ruling in a securities class action lawsuit against Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) over its failure to disclose its exposure to the subprime mortgage lending crisis, ruling that a federal district court’s sua sponte grant of summary judgment in favor of Freddie Mac and others did not amount to “manufactured finality” that is prohibited by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 6 dismissed an investor’s appeal of a lower federal court’s ruling that asset purchase agreements (APAs) affirm rather than preclude a trustee's ability to sell life insurance policies retained by investors, finding that it lacks jurisdiction because the order that is being appealed is not a “final decision” and did not involve the refusal “to wind up [a] receivership.”
NEWARK, N.J. — A class of investors seeking to hold Johnson & Johnson responsible for allegedly breaching Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciary duty by not issuing corrective disclosures announcing its knowledge that asbestos contaminated its talc products will go up against the company’s claim that the appeal is a “quixotic attempt” to change the strict standard requiring a showing of potential alternative conduct that would not have done more harm than good when the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on Jan. 20.
By Scott M. Seaman and Sarah Anderson
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.