An online event firm that experienced a ramp-up in users during the pandemic and that completed an IPO in early in February 2021 has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit after the company disclosed that many of the customers that signed on during the early days of the pandemic did not renew or renewed only at lower service levels. This new lawsuit is the latest of example of the ways that more than a year and half in the pandemic continues to affect businesses and continues to lead to securities class action litigation and other D&O claims. The November 3, 2021 complaint filed against ON24 can be found here.
Continue Reading Online Event Firm Hit with Post-IPO COVID-Related Securities Suit

As readers know, there has been a wave of business interruption coverage insurance disputes arising out the pandemic. But the business interruption claims are not the only insurance coverage disputes the coronavirus outbreak has caused. An interesting recent D&O insurance-related coverage dispute involves the denial by a D&O insurer of coverage for lawsuits a health industry technology trade association faced following the March 2020 coronavirus outbreak-related cancellation of the association’s annual trade show.

In a recent decision, a federal district court, applying Illinois law, rejected the insurer’s coverage denial, holding that the policy’s professional services exclusion and contract exclusion did not preclude coverage. The court also rejected the insurer’s contention that the damages sought in the underlying litigation represented uninsurable restitution. Northern District of Illinois Judge Robert W. Gettleman’s October 19, 2021 opinion in the case can be found here. A November 1, 2021 post on the Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog about the opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Court Rejects D&O Insurer’s Coverage Denial for COVID-Related Tradeshow Cancellation Claims

In the latest dismissal motion ruling in a COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuit, the federal judge presiding over the securities suit filed against private prison company The GEO Group has granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss with respect to the plaintiff’s coronavirus-related allegations, while denying the motion with respect to certain of the plaintiff’s allegations unrelated to COVID-19. A copy of the court’s September 23, 2021 order can be found here.
Continue Reading COVID-19-Related Securities Claims Against Private Prison Company Dismissed

In my recent roundup of key concerns in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability, I discussed the COVID-19-related litigation phenomenon, commenting that notwithstanding the lapse of time since the coronavirus’s initial outbreak there would likely be further pandemic-related lawsuits yet to come. As if to confirm the suggestion, last week a shareholder plaintiff filed a COVID-19 related securities class action lawsuit against the actress Jessica Alba’s personal care consumer products company, The Honest Company. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Consumer Products Company Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

There were more U.S. bankruptcy filings in 2020 than in any year since the global financial crisis, but the number of bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2021 returned closer to historical levels, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. The report, entitled “Trends in Large Corporate Bankruptcy and Financial Distress: Midyear 2021 Update,” looks at bankruptcy filings involving private and public companies with assets over $100 million. The report can be found here, and Cornerstone Research’s August 25, 2021 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Bankruptcy Filings Returned Closer to Historic Levels in 1H21

As readers of this blog know, from the very early days of the coronavirus outbreak COVID-19 related D&O lawsuits have been filed. Just as there have been new variants of the virus itself over the course of the pandemic, there have also been variants of the D&O lawsuits. The most recent variant of the COVID-19-related D&O lawsuit is the Delaware Chancery Court complaint filed earlier this month, in which the plaintiff in the derivative action alleges that corporate insiders profited by taking advantage of a drop in the company’s share price to grant themselves lucrative stock options. A copy of a redacted version of the shareholder plaintiff’s July 9, 2021 complaint can be found here. A copy of a July 21, 2021 Proskauer law firm blog post about the lawsuit can be found here.
Continue Reading A New COVID-19-Related D&O Lawsuit Variant

Even though the worst of the pandemic crisis in the U.S. appears, at least for now, to be past, the threat of COVID-19-related claims continues. In the latest example of the continuing COVID-19-related claim threat, the SEC has initiated a COVID-19-related enforcement action against a California-based digital health care company that had made claims early in the coronavirus outbreak about the company’s ability to profit from the outbreak. The SEC’s new action is a reminder that the threat of new COVID-19-related claims is ongoing. A copy of the SEC’s July 7, 2021 complaint against Parallax Health Sciences, Inc. can be found here. The SEC’s July 7, 2021 press release about the enforcement action can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Files COVID-19-Related Enforcement Action Against Digital Health Firm

We are now well into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet at this late date the COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits continue to come in. In the latest example, Ocugen, a U.S.-based gene therapy development company that hoped to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, was hit with a securities class action law after a setback in its regulatory approval efforts. A copy of the plaintiff’s June 17, 2021 complaint against Ocugen can be found here.
Continue Reading Biopharma Company Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

Among the industries hit hardest at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak last year was the cruise ship business. As these companies were forced to cease operations, revenues plunged. Several of the companies were hit with securities class action lawsuits as well, though, as discussed below, these lawsuits have not fared well. On May 28, 2021, in the latest ruling in a COVID-19-related securities suit against a cruise ship line, the federal judge in the securities suit pending against Carnival Corp. granted the defendants motion to dismiss. The court’s ruling evinces a great deal of skepticism of the plaintiffs’ case.
Continue Reading Another COVID-19-Securities Suit Against Cruise Line Dismissed

Jeff Lubitz
Louis Angelo Panis

As readers of this blog are aware, since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year, there has been a flow of COVID-19-related securities class action lawsuits filed in U.S. courts. I have tried to track these cases as they have been filed and to note them on this site. ISS Securities Class Action Services has also been tracking these cases. In the following guest post, Jeff Lubitz and Louis Angelo Panis analyze the COVID-19 securities suits. Jeff is the Executive Director and Louis is an analyst at ISS Securities Class Action Services. The ISS SCAS data is slightly more inclusive than the data I have compiled and reported on this site, as the ISS SCAS data includes state court securities class action lawsuits as well as federal court securities class action lawsuits, whereas my data set is limited to federal court actions only. Please note that several graphic displays of the ISS SCAS litigation data follow the article. A version of this article previously was published as an ISS Insights article. I would like to thank Jeff and Louis for allowing me to publish their article 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 Jeff and Louis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: COVID-19 Update: Investor Related Class Actions