Since the initial coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. in March 2020, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a host of securities class action lawsuits against companies raising a variety of COVID-19-related allegations. Many of these cases have faced significant hurdles at the initial pleading stage, and in a number of cases the dismissal motions have been granted. The one categorical exception to these dismissal motion generalizations seems to be cases involving vaccine development companies. Two rulings in the past week seem to corroborate both of these observations. First, in a December 9, 2022 ruling in the securities suit pending against the diagnostic testing company Talis Biomedical, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss (albeit with leave to amend). However, in a December 12, 2022 ruling in the securities case against the vaccine development company Novavax, the court denied the defendants’ dismissal motion in significant part. The rulings in these two cases are discussed below.
Continue Reading Dismissal Motion Ruling Patterns Emerge in COVID-19-Related Securities Suits

In the following guest post, the authors revisit the question of whether or not securities class action lawsuits against development-stage biotech companies are likelier to survive a motion to dismiss compared to securities suits against other kinds of companies. As the authors report below, they conclude from their research that the suits against biotech companies are not likelier to survive dismissal motions. The authors of this guest post are: Doug Greene, BakerHostetler, Leader, Securities and Governance Litigation Team; Genevieve York-Erwin, BakerHostetler, Partner; Mike Tomasulo, Baldwin Risk Partners, Managing Partner, Management Liability National Practice Leader: Emily Baxter,  BakerHostetler, Associate; and Alex Karambelas, BakerHostetler, Associate. A version of this article previously was published on the PLUS Blog. 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 site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article

Continue Reading Guest Post: Analysis of Biotech Securities Class Action Motion to Dismiss Results, 2005 – 2022

In the latest edition of its annual report, the Sidley Austin law firm takes a detailed look at important securities litigation developments in 2021 relating to life sciences companies. The report includes not only a review of life sciences companies’ securities litigation class action filings trends but also examines life sciences companies’ track record in the courts, both with respect to motions to dismiss in the district courts and on appeal. The law firm’s report, entitled “Securities Class Actions in the Life Sciences Sector: 2021 Annual Survey” can be found here. The same site also includes a link to a short summary of the report.
Continue Reading A Detailed Look at the 2021 Securities Litigation Against Life Sciences Companies

On May 27, 2020, in the latest #MeToo-related securities class action lawsuit to fail to survive initial pleading hurdles, Judge Gloria M. Navarro granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the securities suit filed against Wynn Resorts based on allegations that the company had failed to disclose sexual misconduct of its former CEO, Stephen Wynn. The ruling joins several other recent dismissal rulings in #MeToo-related securities suits – although, as noted below, there have also been several noteworthy settlements in #MeToo suits as well. A copy of Judge Navarro’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Dismissal Motion Granted in Wynn Resorts #MeToo-Related Securities Suit

As I have documented in prior posts (for example, here), publicly traded life sciences companies are frequent targets of securities class action lawsuits. But life sciences companies’ securities litigation exposure may be well-known, it is not always as appreciated that the securities suits against life sciences companies are often dismissed. Two recent rulings in securities suits against life sciences companies – Antares Pharma and Nabriva Therapeutics – provide recent examples of securities suits in which the courts have granted the companies’ dismissal motions. The rulings illustrate the extent to which life sciences companies often are able to successfully defend themselves against securities suits.
Continue Reading Life Sciences Companies: Frequent Securities Suits Frequently Dismissed