The pandemic officially ended well over a year ago, but the pandemic’s effects continue to ripple through the economy and affect company’s operations and financial results. Moreover, these effects continue to translate into securities class action litigation. The latest example is the lawsuit filed earlier this week against the Canadian defense software company CAE, Inc., which was sued after the disruptive effects of the pandemic caused certain of its fixed-price long-term contracts to be more costly and less profitable, notwithstanding the company’s assurances that it was managing the “ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic.” A copy of the July 16, 2024, complaint in the lawsuit can be found here.Continue Reading Defense Firm Hit with COVID and Supply Chain Disruption-Related Securities Suit

SPACs were back in the business headlines again last Friday, as the news circulated that shareholders of Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, had approved the proposed business combination with Trump Media & Technology Group, the corporate parent of Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social media company. On the same day, in a reminder of what has happened to all too many companies that merged with SPACs during the peak of the SPAC frenzy in 2020 and 2021, shareholders of a SPAC that merged with an electric vehicle company sued the directors and officers of the SPAC as well as the EV company, alleging that in the merger proxy statement the defendants failed to disclose multiple business problems at the target company. The lawsuit is the latest SPAC-related securities suit to be filed after the collapse of the SPAC surge.Continue Reading EV Company Hit With SPAC-Related Securities Suit

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

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

In my 2022 year-end wrap up of D&O insurance developments, I identified macroeconomic factors as among the sources of D&O claims during the past year including, among other things, interest rate increases, economic inflation, labor supply and supply chain disruption, and the Ukraine War. In various posts this year, I have noted that these factors continue to affect companies and to contribute to the number of securities class action lawsuit filings. In the latest example of the way in which these macroeconomic factors can translate into securities litigation, the drug and healthcare company Baxter International was sued last week due to the decline in the company’s share price after the company’s announcement that continuing supply chain woes were setting back its operations and financial results more significantly than the company had anticipated. The new lawsuit shows that macroeconomic factors such as supply chain constraints are continuing to contribute to securities lawsuit filings. A copy of the July 12, 2023, complaint against Baxter can be found here.Continue Reading Baxter Hit with Supply Chain-Related Securities Class Action Lawsuit

              

In the current economic environment, companies are wrestling with a host of macroeconomic issues, including rising interest rates, economic inflation, continuing labor shortages, and the war in Ukraine. In addition, another issue companies are facing in the wake of the pandemic is supply chain disruption, which continues to challenge some companies. In the latest sign

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

At the beginning of the year, when I surveyed the D&O claims landscape and predicted the factors that I thought might drive D&O claims volume in 2023, one set of factors I projected might make significant contributions to the number of claims to be filed during the year were the number of macroeconomic challenges – for example, rising interest rates, economic inflation, labor supply disruption, and the war in Ukraine. The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the ensuing securities litigation provides one illustration of how these macro factors can translate into D&O claims.

Now, in the latest illustration of these forces at work, investors have filed a securities lawsuit against the organic foods company United Natural Foods, following the company’s recent disappointing earnings announcement in which the company disclosed a decline in profitability, despite increasing sales, due to inflationary pressures. A copy of the March 20, 2023, lawsuit against United Natural Foods can be found here.Continue Reading Inflation Hits Organic Food Company’s Quarterly Results, Draws Securities Suit

Businesses these days face a wide variety of headwinds – rising interest rates, economic inflation, supply chain and labor supply disruptions, war in Ukraine, even continued disruptions from COVID – that are interfering with business operations and affecting financial performance. In some instances, these macroeconomic factors are translating into securities litigation. In the latest example of this phenomenon, a plaintiff shareholder has sued video display systems company Daktronics following the company’s announcement that supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and shutdowns in China caused a decline in the company’s sales, which led to a later announcement of a “substantial doubt” of the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The December 21, 2022, complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Video Display Company Hit with Supply Chain-Related Securities Suit

Frank Hülsberg

Burkhard Fassbach

This past summer, the German legislature passed the Supply Chain Act, in order to require German businesses to comply with due diligence obligations to improve compliance with human rights and material standards within supply chains. In the following guest post, Frank Hülsberg, a Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor in Düsseldorf, Partner Advisory and Member of the Executive Board at Grant Thornton AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft in Germany, and Burkhard Fassbach, a Senior Manager in the Governance, Risk, Compliance & Technology department at Grant Thornton in Frankfurt, review the Act’s requirements and consider its implications. I would like to thank Frank and Burkhard for allowing me to publish this article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Frank and Burkhard’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Focus on ESG: The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act