Shareholder derivative litigation

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a number of management liability lawsuits against the executives of companies that have experienced high-profile data breaches. These lawsuits have either been filed as shareholder derivative lawsuits or securities class action lawsuits. By and large, the cases filed as shareholder derivative lawsuits have been unsuccessful. However, in a development that represents a milestone in several different respects, the parties to the Yahoo data breach-related derivative lawsuit have agreed to settle the case for $29 million. As discussed below, this settlement may have important implications for future data breach-related derivative litigation. The Court’s January 4, 2019 order approving the settlement can be found here (see calendar Line 5 in the order).
Continue Reading Yahoo Data Breach-Related Derivative Suit Settled for $29 Million

More recent data breach-related D&O lawsuits have been filed in the form of securities class actions, one of which, the Yahoo securities class action lawsuit, recently resulted in a sizable settlement. Before that though, during the period 2014 to 2016, there was a series of data breach related suits filed in the form of shareholder derivative actions. By and large, these cases did not fare particularly well, largely resulting in dismissals. The last of these data breach-related derivative lawsuits that remained pending is the one filed against fast-food company Wendy’s. Now the Wendy’s case has also settled, albeit for a combination of cybersecurity and governance therapeutics and agreement to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys fees. The resolution of this last remaining shareholder derivative suit again raises a question that has been much discussed, of the extent to which data breach-related issues will lead to more D&O litigation.
Continue Reading Wendy’s Settles Data Breach-Related Derivative Lawsuit

targetFor some time now, many commentators, including me, have been predicting that cybersecurity-related litigation could become an important part of the D&O litigation environment. And that may yet happen. For now, however, the results in the recent cybersecurity-related cases have been, from the plaintiffs’ perspective, not particularly promising. On July 7, 2016, in the latest of these cases to hit the skids, District of Minnesota Judge Paul Magnuson, in reliance on the report of the special litigation committee appointed to investigate the claims and in the absence of opposition from the plaintiff, granted the motions of the special litigation committee and of the defendants and dismissed the consolidated cybersecurity-related derivative litigation that had been filed against Target Corporation’s board. As discussed below, the plaintiffs’ track record in this type of litigation has been poor, which does raise the question whether this type of litigation will become a significant phenomenon. A copy of Judge Magnuson’s order in the Target Corp. case can be found here.
Continue Reading Target Corporation Cybersecurity-Related Derivative Litigation Dismissed

freeportThe parties to the Freeport-McMorRan Copper & Gold, Inc. Derivative Litigation have finalized an agreement to settle the consolidated litigation pending in the Delaware Chancery Court in exchange for a payment of $137.5 million and for the company’s agreement to adopt certain corporate governance reforms. The settlement represents the third largest derivative lawsuit settlement ever.

latestgavelMy post earlier this week about the $275 million Activision Blizzard shareholder derivative lawsuit settlement – and in particular my suggestion that the Activision settlement may be the largest derivative suit settlement ever – provoked an interesting flurry of emails and conversations about the lineup of other large derivative lawsuit settlements. To address the various

texasIn a July 24, 2014 opinion (here), an intermediate Texas appellate court, applying Texas law, affirmed the trial court’s dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds of the Deepwater Horizon disaster-related shareholder derivative suit filed against Switzerland-domiciled Transocean Limited. The court’s ruling is interesting in and of itself, but it may be even more

In what the plaintiffs’ lawyers claim to be the largest derivative lawsuit settlement ever, the parties to the News Corp. shareholder derivative litigation have agreed to settle the consolidated cases for $139 million. The company also agreed to tighten oversight of the company’s operations and to establish a whistleblower hotline, as well as other corporate