As I have detailed in a series of post on this blog (most recently here), over the last year plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed nearly 30 COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits. While the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ have been quick to file these cases, it remains to be seen how the claims will fare. Indeed, in January, in the first case to reach initial pleading hurdles, the Court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss (as discussed here). However, in a more recent ruling one of the first of the COVID-19-related securities suits to be filed, the Court has denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss in significant part. The February 16, 2021 opinion of Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gerald J. Pappert in the securities lawsuit pending against Inovio Pharmaceuticals can be found here.
Continue Reading Dismissal Motion Largely Denied in COVID-19-Related Securities Suit Against Vaccine Company

It has been nearly a year since the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. first led to widespread closures and disruptions. Throughout that time, plaintiffs’ lawyers have continued to file securities class actions and other claims against companies affected by the pandemic. On February 12, 2021, in the latest of these COVID-19-related securities lawsuits, a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against the biotechnology firm bluebird bio alleging that the company misrepresented the pandemic’s foreseeable impact on the company’s FDA application plans. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Biotech Firm Hit With COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

In the latest sign that COVID-19 related securities litigation is on track to continue into 2021, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods, Inc. relating to the company’s disclosures and actions in its facilities pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak. The plaintiff’s February 2, 2021 complaint can be found here. As noted below, I have some concerns about the complaint.
Continue Reading Tyson Foods Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

In what is the third coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuit filed so far in 2021, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against the U.K.-based biopharma firm AstraZeneca plc relating to the setbacks the company encountered late last year in connection with the company’s efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The complaint also relies heavily on the way that the company communicated to investors and the general public concerning anomalies in the vaccine’s interim clinical trial results. A copy of the January 26, 2021 complaint against the company can be found here.
Continue Reading AstraZeneca Hit with Securities Suit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Development Setbacks

As I have noted on this site as the cases have accumulated (most recently here), since March 2020 plaintiffs’ lawyers’ have filed over two dozen coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuits. But even as the plaintiffs’ lawyers appeared eager to pursue these types of claims, the question has remained about how these lawsuits will fare. Now, in first dismissal motion ruling in a coronavirus-related securities suit, the court has granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, in the coronavirus-related securities suit filed last July against Velocity Financial. A copy of Central District of California Judge Gary Klausner’s January 25, 2021 order can be found here.
Continue Reading First Dismissal of Coronavirus-Related Securities Class Action Lawsuit

In the latest sign that coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuit filings will continue into the New Year, on January 20, 2021, a plaintiff shareholder filed a COVID-19-related securities suit against the Chinese Internet social media company Lizhi, Inc. The lawsuit relates to the coronavirus outbreak now more than a year ago in China, and to the company’s January 2020 U.S. IPO. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Chinese Social Media Company Hit with Coronavirus-Related Securities Suit

In what is the first coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuit filed in 2021, and in what is also as far as I know the first coronavirus-related securities suit filed following the filing of an SEC enforcement action against the same company, a plaintiff shareholder has filed an action against diagnostic testing company Decision Diagnostics Corp., relating to the company’s claims during the period March to June 2020 that it had developed a finger-prick test that could detect COVID-19 in less than one minute. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Diagnostic Testing Company Hit with First Coronavirus-Related Securities Suit of 2021

In the latest coronavirus outbreak-related securities suit, a Canadian diagnostic medical testing company that hoped to obtain emergency regulatory authorization for its rapid COVID-19 antigen test has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit after the company failed to obtain the regulatory approvals. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint, filed on December 17, 2020 in the Central District of California, can be found here. In addition, as discussed below, this past week, the SEC separately filed a coronavirus-related enforcement action against a biotechnology company that touted its ability to provide a blood-based diagnostic test for the coronavirus.
Continue Reading Canadian Testing Company Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

On December 4, 2020, in what is according to the SEC its first proceeding charging an issuer for misleading investors about the financial effects of the pandemic on company finances and operations, the SEC entered into a settled Cease and Desist Order with The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated based on the agency’s determinations that the company’s late March and early April statements that it was “operating sustainably” were, without further information, misleading to investors.  The SEC’s December 4, 2020 Cease-and-Desist Order can be found  here, and the agency’s December 4, 2020 press release about the Order can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Charges Cheesecake Factory Over Misleading COVID-Related Disclosures

Technology-based education firm K12, Inc., which hoped to be able to profit from the pandemic-related shift to virtual learning , has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit alleging that the company’s share price declined after school systems using its platform to address their online learning needs allegedly experienced disappointing results. A copy of the shareholder plaintiff’s November 19, 2020 complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Online Learning Firm Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit