The risks and opportunities that AI presents have emerged quickly and may be evolving even faster; the whole AI phenomenon has developed much more quickly than legislators’ and regulators’ ability to respond. Among the many AI effects that regulators and other observers are struggling to assess is the extent of the AI-related litigation potential, including but not limited to the prospects for AI-related corporate and securities litigation.Continue Reading SEC Chair Warns Against “AI Washing”

As the phenomenon of ESG-related litigation has developed and evolved in recent months, it has unfolded that the lawsuits are not, as was expected, being filed against ESG laggards, but instead are being filed against companies that were proactive on ESG-related issues. One of the cases illustrating this development is the securities lawsuit filed against the consumer products company Unilever, based on allegations that the company had failed to disclose a resolution passed by the independent board of its Ben and Jerry’s subsidiary to end ice cream sales in occupied Israeli territories. On August 29, 2023, In a ruling that suggests that these kinds of ESG-related cases could face challenges, Southern District of New York Judge Lorna Schofield granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, on the grounds that the plaintiff had failed to sufficiently plead scienter. A copy of the August 29 opinion and order can be found here.Continue Reading ESG-Related Suit Against Unilever Based on Ben & Jerry’s Board’s Resolution Dismissed

I have noted for some time now in posts on this site the development of an ESG backlash, which has taken a variety of forms, including through both political action and litigation. For example, I recently noted two ESG backlash lawsuits that had been filed against major U.S. airlines. Now in the latest example of an ESG backlash lawsuit, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities suit against the retailing giant Target Corporation and certain of its directors and officers based on allegations that the defendants “betrayed both Target’s core customer base … and its investors by making false and misleading statements concerning Target’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mandates that let to its disastrous children-and-family themed LGBT-Pride campaign.” A copy of the complaint in the new Target lawsuit can be found here.Continue Reading Target Hit with ESG-Backlash 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

As I have chronicled on this blog (most recently, here), a wave of litigation has followed in the wake of the SPAC boom in late 2020 and early 2021. Since January 1, 2021, over 60 SPAC-related securities class actions have been filed, and there has also been a number of Delaware state court breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits, as well. Although many of these suits have only just been filed and therefore have not yet been subjected to judicial scrutiny, there have been several dismissal motion rulings in a number of these cases. A May 2023 memo from the Jones Day law firm entitled “SPAC Litigation: A Review of Recent Developments” (here) reviews the state of play in the various judicial rulings so far in the SPAC-related cases.  As the memo notes, “many high-profile suits have recently survived motions to dismiss (at least in part), and at least one has been resolved through a significant settlement.”Continue Reading Key SPAC-Related Litigation Developments

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