Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Exchange Act Claim Against Owner Of Options Exchange, Finding Plaintiffs Failed To Adequately Plead Scienter
On July 27, 2022, a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissing a putative securities fraud class action asserting a claim under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, as well as claims under the Commodities Exchange Act, against an options and futures exchange company (the “Company”). Brian Barry, et al. v. CBOE Global Markets, Inc., et al., No. 20-1843 (7th Cir. July 27, 2022). Plaintiffs alleged that the Company violated the Exchange Act by trading options and futures based on an index it created (“VIX”) that was designed to estimate the near-term volatility in the S&P 500 Index, but allegedly was subject to market manipulation by unknown traders (the “Doe Defendants”) soon after its creation. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the claims, holding that plaintiffs failed to plead scienter.