A few days ago when I published a post discussing a new COVID-19-related securities lawsuit I expressed my surprise that pandemic-related suits were still being filed in 2024, particularly after the pace of new coronavirus-related suits tailed off completely in the latter half of 2023. Well, it appears that the recent new case filing not just a single anomaly, as this past week yet another new pandemic-related securities lawsuit was filed.

On January 19, 2024, a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities suit against BioVie, a developmental stage biotech company, after the company reported that clinical trials for its Phase 3 drug candidate produced results the company concluded deviated from protocols and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) because the pandemic had limited patient access to clinical trial sites. A copy of the new complaint can be found here.Continue Reading Biotech Hit with Securities Suit After Pandemic Impact on Clinical Trials

In my recent round-up of the Top D&O stories of 2023, I noted that one of the key drivers contributing to the number of securities class action lawsuit filings last year was the presence of macroeconomic factors affecting company operations and financial results. Among these factors was supply chain disruption. While the pandemic-related disruptions that snarled supply chains in 2021 and 2022 appeared to have eased during 2023, the impact from the earlier supply chain disruptions continues to weigh on some businesses.

 In the latest example of how the prior supply chain disruption continues to affect businesses and how that can translate into securities litigation, on January 16, 2024, a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities lawsuit against advanced driver assistance system company Mobileye Global, after the company announced that it anticipated lower than expected sales of its key product because its leading customers had built up product in 2023 in order to avoid supply disruptions of the type that resulted from supply chain constraints in 2021 and 2022. This latest lawsuit shows how the consequences from pandemic related supply chain disruptions are continuing to weigh on businesses and result in securities litigation. A copy of the January 16, 2024 complaint can be found here.Continue Reading Supply Chain Woes Causing Inventory Build-Up Leads to Securities Suit

One of the most distinct securities class action lawsuit filing phenomena since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. in March 2020 has been the surge of pandemic-related securities suits,  particularly during the period 2020 through 2022. This securities suit filing trend even continued into 2023, although the incidence of COVID-related suits dwindled during the year. However, in an unexpected development, a plaintiff shareholder has now filed yet another COVID-related securities suit against BioNTech, the German biotechnology company that, along with its partner Pfizer, was lionized for helping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The company was hit with a securities suit after its share price declined following a sizeable inventory write-off. A copy of the January 12, 2024, complaint against the company can be found here.Continue Reading A New COVID-Related Securities Suit for the New Year

Nelson Kefauver

In the following guest post, Nelson Kefauver, Head of Profin Underwriting at Intact Insurance, takes a look at how three frequent industry predictions from the recent past have turned out.  Nelson’s comments are specific to the private and non-profit D&O insurance space and not do not refer to the public company D&O insurance

As I have documented on this site, many COVID-related securities suits have been filed since the initial outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. At the core of many of these lawsuits are corporate claims that the defendant companies were positioned to profit from the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Justice now reports that a biotech executive has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges in connection with his company’s false claims at the outset of the pandemic that it had developed a new blood-based test for COVID-19. A copy of the Department of Justice’s December 8, 2023, press release about the guilty plea can be found here.Continue Reading Biotech Exec Pleads Guilty to COVID-Related Securities Fraud

In my recent roundup of the top stories in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability and insurance, I noted that a host of macroeconomic factors – such as supply chain disruptions and labor supply constraints — continue to weigh on companies and, in some instances, translate into securities class action litigation. I have also noted in numerous prior posts how COVID-19 has itself resulted in securities lawsuit filings. In the latest example of a securities suit filing resulting from these various phenomena, last week a shareholder plaintiff filed a securities lawsuit against the robotic aircraft systems development and service company AeroVironment after the company delivered disappointing results due to supply chain woes resulting from COVID-19. The complaint is both representative of these types of cases and illustrative of how these kinds of concerns, even after a significant time lag, can result in a current securities lawsuit filing. A copy of the plaintiff’s August 30, 2023, complaint can be found here.Continue Reading Robotic Aircraft Company Hit with COVID-19 and Supply Chain-Related Securities Suit

The COVID-19-related public health crisis ended earlier this year; the CDC declared the end of the public health emergency in May. While the pandemic may be over, many of the changes that the pandemic wrought remain. Some of these changes resulted in significant alterations to the operating environment for many businesses. The difficulties that businesses face in trying to adapt to the new environment has, in turn, and at least for some businesses, translated into securities lawsuits. The latest example of this phenomenon is the lawsuit filed last week against clinical trial company Syneos, whose business operations were not only disrupted by the pandemic, but also changed in ways that caused ongoing disruption the company’s business and financial results. The lawsuit alleges that the company and its executives misrepresented both the company’s response to the pandemic and to the changed business circumstances the company faced due to the pandemic. A copy of the July 27, 2023, complaint filed against the company can be found here.Continue Reading Clinical Trials Company Hit with COVID-Related Securities Suit

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, one related phenomena that immediately became apparent was the emergence of coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuits and other corporate and securities litigation. I have been tracking the COVID-related securities litigation since the very beginning, and now, even though we are now well into the pandemic’s fourth year, the COVID-related securities suits are continuing to be filed. In the latest example of a COVID-related securities suit filing, a plaintiff shareholder this week sued Danaher Corporation for the company’s disclosures related to the impact of the pandemic on the company’s sales. This latest filing suggests that the COVID-19-related securities litigation phenomenon may have further to go yet. A copy of the complaint in the new lawsuit against Danaher can be found here.Continue Reading Danaher Hit with COVID-Related Securities Suit Filing

Earlier this month, the U.S. Center for Disease Control announced the end in the U.S. of the COVID-19-related public health emergency that began in March 2020. Yet even though the public health emergency has now officially ended, the pandemic’s effects still continue to affect company’s financial results, and still continue to result in COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits. In the latest litigation example, late last week a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company related to the fallout from the company’s early pandemic-related success with and commitment to its Disney+ streaming services, a bet that soured as the pandemic progressed. The new filing shows that though the public health emergency may have ended, the pandemic-related securities litigation risk continues.Continue Reading Disney Hit With Securities Suit with COVID-Related Allegations

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