Financial Recovery Technologies Fast Five provides you with the top news in shareholder class actions. Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in settled (U.S./Canada) claims filing opportunities, Antitrust settlements, Global Group Litigation matters and more. For more information, contact your Financial Recovery Technologies representative or email us.
Investors who lost fortunes in the failure of a multi billion-dollar nuclear reactor construction deal in South Carolina will soon begin to see their portions of a $192 million settlement, under a recently approved distribution. Last week, a federal judge signed off on a plan to disperse the funds among former shareholders in SCANA Corp., the former parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas. The settlement itself was the largest securities class action recovery obtained in South Carolina when a judge approved it last year, according to attorneys for the investors. Click here to read the full article.
This month brings a novel variant of the COVID-19 lawsuit. A Universal Health Services Inc. investor has filed a derivative suit against company officers and directors, claiming they took advantage of a pandemic-related drop in the company’s stock price to grant and receive certain stock options that were unfair to the company and its stockholders. The complaint alleges that the drop in stock price was “not caused by any changes in the company’s fundamentals or business prospects,” but instead was entirely attributable to the effect of the pandemic on the markets writ large. If successful, this case—Knight v. Miller et al., 2021-0581, in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware—could provide another avenue for shareholder litigation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the full article.
Steinhoff International Holdings NV shares rose Friday after the company said that it has significantly increased its proposed settlement for a litigation relating to some legacy accounting issues first announced in December 2017 and it urged all stakeholders to support its proposal. The South African conglomerate said it has raised its settlement offer to 613 million euros ($724 million) from EUR370 million. Steinhoff said the settlement would resolve both legacy claims and the recent dispute regarding the former holding of its subsidiaries Steinhoff International Holdings Proprietary Ltd.’s contingent payment undertaking. Click here to read the full article.
As the country began to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic this year, securities litigators found themselves returning to court to litigate over a boom in SPAC deals and mulling intensified investor interest in environmental and socially conscious corporate governance policies. With the pandemic no longer casting a shadow over the industry, Law360 checked in with securities attorneys from both the plaintiffs’ and the defense bar to see what areas or trends in investor litigation they were paying most attention to in 2021. While there was, perhaps unsurprisingly, little consensus, three topics kept coming up: 1) Filings Down Overall, 2) SPAC Boom Drives De-SPAC Litigation Bloom, and 3) Investors’ Eyes On ESG. Click here to read the full article (subscription may be required).
There were several notable developments in the second quarter of 2021 affecting class actions, particularly in the area of Article III standing. The Supreme Court issued a trio of key decisions: (i) one makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to demonstrate Article III standing and confirms that all class members must show such standing to recover damages; (ii) a second clarifies the defenses available to securities litigation defendants at the class certification stage; and (iii) the third blocks the FTC from seeking restitution in certain cases, leading the FTC to announce plans to partner with state attorneys general. Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit warned that settlements should not be approved if there is evidence of collusion. And a pair of decisions from the Eighth Circuit may make it more difficult for plaintiffs to certify classes in that circuit. Click here to read the full article.
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