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Kevin M. LaCroix is an attorney and Executive Vice President, RT ProExec, a division of R-T Specialty, LLC. RT ProExec is an insurance intermediary focused exclusively on management liability issues.

After the news emerged last week that Chinese cybersecurity regulators had cracked down on the ride-sharing firm DiDi Global shortly after the company completed its U.S. IPO, the company was hit with a U.S. securities class action lawsuit. However, DiDi was not the only Chinese company that recently completed a U.S. IPO that was targeted by the Chinese regulator. Two other Chinese companies that completed U.S. IPOs in June – Full Truck Alliance Co. Ltd. and Kanshun Limited – were both also notified that their companies were under review by the cybersecurity regulator. And now both of these companies have also been hit with U.S. securities class action lawsuits, as discussed below.
Continue Reading Two More Chinese Companies Hit with U.S. Securities Suits Following Post-IPO Crackdown by Chinese Regulator

In  a prior post in which I discussed the “basic value proposition” of D&O insurance, I noted that among the five indispensable elements required in order for coverage under a D&O insurance policy to exist is the requirement that the individual seeking coverage must have been acting in an Insured Capacity. The prerequisite that the Insured Person must have been acting in an Insured Capacity at the time of the alleged Wrongful Act arises from the fact that individuals act in a number of different capacities; it is only conduct undertaken in their capacity as an officer or director of the insured company for which the insurance policy provides coverage.

A July 3, 2021 decision by Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods, applying New York law, provides a good illustration of how individuals may be acting in multiple capacities, and underscores the fact that while the insurance under a D&O policy is only available when the insured is acting in his or her capacity as a director or officer of the insured company, coverage is not entirely precluded if the individual is acting in dual or multiple capacities. A copy of the Judge Woods’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Individuals Acting in Multiple Capacities Entitled to Defense for Acts Undertaken in Insured Capacity

One of the most distinct securities litigation phenomena so far this year has been the increase in securities litigation involving post-SPAC-merger operating companies. In the latest example of this type of litigation, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against used vehicle consignment re-seller CarLotz, which became a public company through a January 2021 merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). As discussed below, CarLotz’s first financial reports as a public company disappointed investors and litigation has now ensued. A copy of the July 8, 2021 complaint against the company can be found here.
Continue Reading Used Vehicle Re-Seller Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

Even though the worst of the pandemic crisis in the U.S. appears, at least for now, to be past, the threat of COVID-19-related claims continues. In the latest example of the continuing COVID-19-related claim threat, the SEC has initiated a COVID-19-related enforcement action against a California-based digital health care company that had made claims early in the coronavirus outbreak about the company’s ability to profit from the outbreak. The SEC’s new action is a reminder that the threat of new COVID-19-related claims is ongoing. A copy of the SEC’s July 7, 2021 complaint against Parallax Health Sciences, Inc. can be found here. The SEC’s July 7, 2021 press release about the enforcement action can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Files COVID-19-Related Enforcement Action Against Digital Health Firm

On July 6, 2021, after the Wall Street Journal reported that prior to DiDi’s June 30, 2021 U.S. IPO,  government authorities had urged the Chinese ride-hailing firm to postpone the offering, but that the company, under pressure from investors, had gone ahead with the IPO anyway, it seemed that it would only be a matter of time before DiDi would be hit with a U.S. securities lawsuit. Indeed, as it turned out, the same day the Journal article appeared, an investor filed a U.S. securities class action lawsuit against the company. As discussed below, the lawsuit is based on cybersecurity and privacy concerns relating to the company’s ride-hailing app. A copy of the investor’s July 6, 2021 complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Chinese Ride-Hailing Firm DiDi Hit With Securities Suit Related to Its Recent IPO

In the latest example of a post-SPAC-merger company getting hit with a securities class action lawsuit, the online sports gaming and betting company DraftKings has been sued in a securities suit involving alleged pre- and post-SPAC-merger activity of one of the merged companies. As discussed below, the new lawsuit is the latest SPAC-related securities suit based supposed revelations in a short-seller’s report. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading DraftKings Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

In March 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Cyan case that state courts retain jurisdiction for securities class action litigation under the ’33 Act, it set up the state courts and state court securities class action litigants for a host of practical problems. The first is that Cyan allowed the possibility of competing sets of plaintiffs’ lawyers to sue the same defendants in parallel state and federal lawsuits, in what can only be called inefficient and wasteful duplicative litigation. The second is that Cyan left unanswered many questions about the procedures applicable in the state court securities litigation, including questions having to do with the applicability of the procedural safeguards under the PSLRA. Among the many procedural questions that state courts now have to wrestle with is whether the PSLRA’s stay of discovery pending a ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss applies to state court proceedings.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Takes Up Discovery Stay Question in State Court Securities Class Action Litigation

In recognition of the Independence Day holiday in the U.S., and in what is now an annual tradition, I reprise my 2012 essay about Time and Summer, which can be found here. Amidst all the disruption we have all experienced in both our work lives and personal lives in recent months, life’s timeless lessons

The shareholder derivative lawsuit filed against the directors of Danaher Corporation is the latest board diversity lawsuit to fail to survive initial pleading hurdles. In a June 28, 2021 order (here), District of Columbia District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the shareholders’ claims, based on his determination that the plaintiffs had failed to establish that pre-suit demand on the board would have been futile. In making his rulings on the motion, Judge McFadden made several interesting and noteworthy observations about the plaintiffs’ board diversity allegations.
Continue Reading Board Diversity Lawsuit Against Danaher Directors Dismissed

Federal court securities class action lawsuit filings declined in the first half of 2021 to the lowest semiannual levels in several years. Several factors contributed to this relative decline, most significantly the shift by plaintiffs’ lawyers toward filing federal court merger objection lawsuits as individual actions rather than as class actions. In addition, as discussed further below, other factors contributed to the relative decline. The filing levels in the year’s first six months puts the filing for the full year 2021 on pace for the lowest annual filing levels since 2015, after several intervening years in which filings were at historically high levels.
Continue Reading Federal Court Securities Lawsuit Filings Decline in Year’s First Half