In a development that will come as a surprise to no one who has been reading the business news pages over the last few weeks, Eastman Kodak and certain of its executives have been hit with a securities class action lawsuit based on allegations surrounding the disclosure of a $765 loan to the company from a government agency for the company to develop pharmaceutical materials, including ingredients of COVID-19 drugs, as well as on allegations of insider trading relating to the loan disclosures. As discussed below, the lawsuit is the latest in a series of securities class action lawsuits that have been filed related to the coronavirus outbreak. The complaint in the Kodak lawsuit can be found here.
Continue Reading Kodak Hit With Securities Suit Over COVID-19-Related Loan Disclosure and Related Trading

As the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. approaches the beginning of its sixth month, Congress continues to debate whether and to what extent the federal government should provide further economic support, relief, and stimulus. The House of Representatives and the Senate recently have proposed two very different coronavirus relief packages and efforts to reconcile the policy differences reflected in the two different approaches have to date not been successful. But while it remains to be seen what if anything ultimately may emerge, among the critical aspects of the proposed packages worth considering are the liability shield provisions in the proposed Senate package. The Senate liability shield bill, if enacted, could significantly diminish the potential liabilities of businesses and other organizations for the transmission of the COVID-19 disease in their facilities. These liability restrictions could have significant implications for these organizations’ liability insurers as well. And, as discussed below, the adoption of the kinds of liability restrictions that the Senate has proposed could have implications – at least indirectly —  for the organizations’ D&O insurers, too.
Continue Reading Potential Impact of Proposed Coronavirus Liability Shield

Since I first started tallying the coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuits back in March, a recurring issue has emerged – it has become increasingly difficult to keep a firm handle on what makes a case “coronavirus-related.” Even in just the short time I have been tracking the cases, there have already been a number of close calls, as I have previously discussed, for example, here. A couple of new lawsuits filed this week present further challenges. As discussed below, I have concluded that both of the two new lawsuits count as coronavirus-related, but their inclusion on my list will probably cause my tally to diverge from other similar tallies even further than is already the case now.
Continue Reading Coronavirus-Related Securities Suits: Do These Two New Cases Count?

As part of a continuing series, I have been participating in sessions that the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) has organized addressing the potential D&O liability and insurance issues arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak. I have been joined in these recorded sessions by my good friends Carl Metzger of the Goodwin Procter law firm

Early this spring, when I wrote the first installment in this series of updates about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the D&O liability and insurance arena, the general assumption was that the virus would spread for a couple of months during the spring and that by summertime things would be returning to normal. Very few people I know were predicting that when July actually did roll around that the number of confirmed cases, both nationally and globally, would be setting daily record highs. Even as recently as my most recent update last month, there were hopeful signs as the country re-opened for business. Unfortunately, the disease has proven to be more widely-distributed and the outbreak longer-lasting than earlier anticipated, and the expectations about the pandemic’s economic, social, and political impacts have also changed. All of these developments have implications for the pandemic’s impact on the D&O arena as well. In this latest update, I review the the pandemic’s D&O consequences and likely future impact.
Continue Reading COVID-19 and D&O Insurance: July Update

As regular readers know, over the last few months, I have been closely following the rise of coronavirus outbreak-related securities class action lawsuits. To date, though the pandemic is a global health and economic phenomenon, the pandemic-related securities litigation activity has been limited to the United States. In the following guest post, Jason Symons, Persia Navidi, Claudia George, and Luke Roper of the HWL Ebsworth Lawyers take a look at the possibilities for COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits in Australia. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The Potential for COVID-19-Related Securities Class Actions in Australia

In the latest coronavirus outbreak-related securities class action lawsuit to be filed, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against The GEO Group, a publicly traded private corrections facilities operator, alleging that the company misled investors about the effectiveness of its COVID-19 response. The complaint alleges that the company’s “inadequate” procedures subjected residents of the Company’s halfway houses to significant health risks. The company’s share price declined following news reports of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of the company’s facilities. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Private Prison Firm Hit with COVID-19 Outbreak-Related Securities Suit

As the pandemic has unfolded, a recession has followed in its wake, as a result of which many companies are struggling. Some will not survive – a number of high profile companies, such as Hertz and Neiman Marcus, have already filed for bankruptcy. Many others have issued financial filings containing a “going concern” disclosure or received an audit opinion with a going concern modification. The government shutdowns and other disruptions that have followed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak have placed an enormous burden on many businesses. The going concern disclosures filed in the year’s first half reveal how many companies are struggling to stay afloat and what might be in store in the months ahead.
Continue Reading Concerns About “Going Concern”

As readers know, since the beginning the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., I have been tracking the coronavirus-related D&O lawsuits as they are filed. As the lawsuits have started to accumulate, one challenge has been keeping a firm grasp on what it is that makes a lawsuit coronavirus-related. In the following post, I discuss two recently filed securities class action lawsuits that after some deliberation I have decided to include on the list of coronavirus-related securities suits. Though I have included them on the list, I will be the first to acknowledge that that the inclusion of these lawsuits, particularly the second of the two discussed below, is not beyond question. My hope is that by going through my logic for including the two lawsuits and my reasoning for including them on the list that readers will weigh in and share their thoughts about whether either or both of these lawsuits properly should be classified as coronavirus-related. I describe the two recently-filed lawsuits below, along with a description  of my reasons for including them on the list.
Continue Reading Do These Two New Lawsuits Belong on the List of COVID-19-Related Securities Suits?