Northern District Of California Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Enterprise Data Platform
On October 25, 2022, Judge Maxine M. Chesney of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action against an enterprise data cloud platform company (the “Company”). In re Cloudera, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 19-CV-03221-MMC, 2022 WL 14813896 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 25, 2022). Plaintiffs alleged that the Company misled investors in its characterization of the Company’s platform in violation of Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5. The Court, having dismissed an earlier complaint, dismissed the claims without further leave to amend, finding that the Company’s statements were not false or misleading.
Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Exchange Act Claims Against Acquired Public Company, Holding That Shareholders Of An M&A Acquiror Do Not Have Standing To Pursue Claims Based On Acquired Company’s Alleged Pre-Transaction Misstatements
On September 30, 2022, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissing a putative securities fraud class action asserting claims under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against a flavoring and fragrance products company (the “Company”) and several of its executives. Menora Mivtachim Ins. Ltd., et al. v. Frutarom Indus. Ltd., et al., No 21-1076 (2d Cir. Sept. 30, 2022). Plaintiffs alleged that, from 2002 to 2018, the Company engaged in a “long-running bribery scheme,” and that defendants made materially misleading statements about the Company’s compliance with anti-bribery laws and its business growth in public documents filed when the Company was acquired in 2018. The district court granted the motion to dismiss as against the Company and its officers, holding that plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege statutory standing to pursue their securities fraud claims. The Second Circuit affirmed.
Ninth Circuit Affirms Decision Dismissing Securities Class Action Against Medical Device Manufacturer For Failure To Allege An Actionable False Or Misleading Statement
On July 7, 2022, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a putative securities fraud class action against a medical device manufacturer company (the “Company”) and certain of its executives. Macomb County Employees’ Retirement System et al. v. Align Technology Inc. et al., No. 21-15823 (9th Cir. July 7, 2022). Plaintiff alleged that defendants violated Sections 10(b), 20(a), and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by misrepresenting the Company’s prospects about its future success in China. The Court affirmed the district court’s order granting defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that six of the challenged statements were non-actionable “puffery,” and the remaining six statements did not misrepresent the Company’s growth in China.
Ninth Circuit Affirms Decision Dismissing Investor Class Action Against Social Media Company Because The Company’s Statements Were Not False Or Materially Misleading
On March 23, 2022, Judge Kenneth K. Lee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s dismissal of claims brought under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder against a social media company (the “Company”) and certain of its executive officers. Weston Family Partnership LLLP et al. v. Twitter Inc. et al., No. 20-17465 (9th Cir. Mar. 23, 2022). Plaintiffs alleged that the Company failed to disclose the scope of software issues that led to a loss in advertising revenue, which ultimately caused the Company’s share price to drop. The Court affirmed the district court’s order granting defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that plaintiffs failed to state a claim because the Company’s statements were not false or materially misleading. The Court stated that “[s]ecurities laws . . . do not require real-time business updates or complete disclosure of all material information whenever a company speaks on a particular topic. To the contrary, a company can speak selectively about its business so long as its statements do not paint a misleading picture. [The Company]’s statements about its advertising program were not false or misleading because they were qualified and factually true. The Company had no duty to disclose any more than it did under federal securities law.”
Southern District Of New York Denies In Part Motion To Dismiss Securities Act Claims Against Technology Company For Allegedly Misleading Statements About Sales Cycle
On February 25, 2022, Judge Gregory H. Woods of the Southern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss claims under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (“the Securities Act”) against a technology company (“the Company”) and certain of its officers and directors. In re Tufin Software Techs. Ltd. Sec. Litig., No. 1:20-cv-05646 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2022). Plaintiff alleged that the registration statement the Company filed in connection with its IPO “included materially misleading misstatements related to, among other things, the length of its sales cycle” and “its training practices.” The Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss as to certain of the alleged statements, but denied defendants’ motion to dismiss as to others, finding that plaintiff sufficiently alleged that statements regarding the length of the Company’s sales cycle were “materially misleading to investors.”