Long-time readers know that I have frequently commented on this site on the phenomenon of “event-driven” litigation (for example, here). These are securities lawsuits filed in the wake of a significant operational event or development that disrupts a company and tanks its share price, as opposed to securities suits that are premised on accounting or financial misrepresentations. I am far from the only observer that has commented on this phenomenon. Among others, the Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine, in an article provocatively entitled, “Everything Everywhere is Securities Fraud” (here) also weighed in on the event-driven litigation trend.

There are, of course, usually two sides to every story, and in a April 5, 2023 Law360 article entitled “Why Event-Driven Securities Class Actions Often Succeed” (here, subscription required), Daniel Barenbaum and Michael Dark of the Berman Tabacco firm provide a plaintiffs’ side view of event-driven securities litigation, and make out their case that these cases are not only not frivolous but provide securities investors important remedies and protections.

Continue Reading Are Event-Driven Cases More Often “Frivolous” or “Successful”?

Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. in March 2020, there have been scores of COVID-related securities suit filed. However, as the pandemic itself progressed, the nature of the lawsuits being filed also changed. Over time, the plaintiffs’ lawyers began targeting companies that had initially prospered at the outset of the pandemic, but whose fortunes flagged as circumstances changed. The prototypical example of a COVID-19-related securities suit involving a company that experienced this particular sequence of events is the lawsuit filed against exercise equipment company Peloton, whose equipment sold briskly at the outset of the pandemic but whose sales slackened as government shutdown orders lapsed and people began returning to work. However, in a March 30, 2023 order (here), the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in the Peloton case, albeit without prejudice, in a decision that does not bode well in these kinds of change-of-fortune pandemic-related securities suits.

Continue Reading Dismissal Granted in Peloton COVID-Related Securities Suit

Though SPAC-related lawsuits were among the most important factors contributing to securities class action litigation filing volume in 2022, SPAC-related litigation has not yet been as significant of a factor so far in 2023. But while there have been relatively few SPAC related securities suits filed this year, there has been SPAC-related Delaware state court breach of fiduciary duty litigation. In the latest example of this Delaware state court litigation activity, plaintiff shareholders recently filed a Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit against the directors of a SPAC; the post-merger de-SPAC company, as successor in interest in the SPAC; and the SPAC’s sponsor, alleging that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the merger. A copy of the plaintiff’s March 31, 2023, complaint can be found here.

Continue Reading SPAC Board and Sponsor Hit with Delaware State Court Breach of Fiduciary Duty Direct Action

As the authors put it in the title of their recent guest post on this site, crypto is the new frontier of securities litigation. The title is reference to a statement by Stanford Law Professor Joseph Grundfest, made in conjunction with Cornerstone Research’s release of its annual survey of securities class action lawsuit filings. The Cornerstone Research report showed that crypto-related securities lawsuit filings surged in 2022. In a March 27, 2023, memo from the Dechert law firm, entitled “Cryptocurrency Securities Class Action Litigation 2022 Year Review,” (here), the law firm memo’s authors take a detailed look at the 2022 crypto-related securities suit filings, including a review of the defendants and the allegations involved.

Continue Reading A Detailed Look at the 2022 Crypto-Related Securities Suit Filings

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), a recurring type of pandemic-related securities suit involves companies whose fortunes prospered at the outset of the pandemic but whose performance sagged as the coronavirus outbreak evolved. The latest lawsuit of this type is the securities suit filed earlier this week against the retailer Target Corp., in which the plaintiffs allege that the surge in consumer demand at the outset of the pandemic led the company to overstock inventory, causing an inventory overhang that later undercut the company’s financial performance. A copy of the March 29, 2023, complaint against Target can be found here.

Continue Reading Target Hit with Securities Suit Over Pandemic-Related Inventory Overhang

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is now into its fourth year, plaintiffs’ lawyers continue to file pandemic-related securities class action lawsuits, increasingly in conjunction with allegations involving other macroeconomic factors, such as rising interest rates, economic inflation, supply chain disruption, and labor supply shortages. In the latest example of litigation of this type, last week plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a securities class action lawsuit against tool maker Stanley Black & Decker, alleging that the company misled investors that the pandemic-fueled surge in demand for the company’s product would continue even as conditions changed. A copy of the March 24, 2023, complaint against the company can be found here.

Continue Reading Stanley Black & Decker Hit with COVID-Related Securities Suit

For several years now, one of the perennial questions in the corporate and securities arena has been the extent to which cybersecurity-related issues will contribute to D&O claims. There has never really been the volume of securities and derivative lawsuits that some observers expected, but there has been a small scattering of occasional suits filed from time to time. Now, in what is the latest cybersecurity-related D&O suit, a plaintiff shareholder has filed securities class action lawsuit against pay-TV services provider, Dish Networks, related to a network service disruption at the company caused by a cyber-security incident. A copy of the March 23, 2023, complaint can be found here.

Continue Reading Dish Networks Hit with Cybersecurity-Related Securities Suit

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is one of those singular events, charged with implications and fraught with dangerous possibilities, but that is also still so recent that it is difficult to discern what it ultimately will mean. Earlier this week, in an excellent webinar presented by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at the

At the beginning of the year, when I surveyed the D&O claims landscape and predicted the factors that I thought might drive D&O claims volume in 2023, one set of factors I projected might make significant contributions to the number of claims to be filed during the year were the number of macroeconomic challenges – for example, rising interest rates, economic inflation, labor supply disruption, and the war in Ukraine. The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the ensuing securities litigation provides one illustration of how these macro factors can translate into D&O claims.

Now, in the latest illustration of these forces at work, investors have filed a securities lawsuit against the organic foods company United Natural Foods, following the company’s recent disappointing earnings announcement in which the company disclosed a decline in profitability, despite increasing sales, due to inflationary pressures. A copy of the March 20, 2023, lawsuit against United Natural Foods can be found here.

Continue Reading Inflation Hits Organic Food Company’s Quarterly Results, Draws Securities Suit

The opioid crisis in the United States is not a new development; sadly, it has been around for years, as has D&O litigation relating to the crisis. Indeed, more than five years ago, I published a post in which I noted the outbreak at the time of a number of opioid-related securities suits. Now, in the latest of these opioid-related securities suits to be filed, and in the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice’s filings of a complaint in intervention in an opioid-related False Claims action against the company, a securities class action lawsuit has now been filed against the pharmacy company, Rite Aid Corporation. The March 20, 2023, Rite Aid complaint can be found here.

Continue Reading Rite Aid Hit with Opioid-Related Securities Suit