Faruqi & Faruqi LLP - newshttp://www.faruqilaw.com/newsFaruqi & Faruqi LLP - newsFaruqi & Faruqi obtains Collective Certification on behalf of Aldi Store Managershttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/160 On February 22, 2017, the Honorable Andrew Baxter of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York conditionally certified a collective action brought by Aldi Store Managers alleging the grocery chain misclassified them as exempt employees under the FLSA, in Griffin et al. v. Aldi Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00354.  Judge Baxter found that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that they are similarly-situated to all other Aldi Store Managers because they were all victims of Aldi’s common policy of classifying employees as exempt while requiring them to perform largely non-exempt, manual labor tasks.  Faruqi & Faruqi, as co-lead counsel, represents the Plaintiffs and a class of similarly-situated current and former Store Managers employed by Aldi.  Innessa Melamed heads the litigation on behalf of Faruqi & Faruqi.

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Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Court Grants Class Certification to Direct Purchasers of Lidoderm in Antitrust Case and Appoints Faruqi & Faruqi Co-Lead Counselhttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/159 On February 21, 2017, the Honorable William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class of direct purchasers of the pain medication patch Lidoderm in the antitrust case In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, No. 3:14-md-02521-WHO.  Judge Orrick further appointed Faruqi & Faruqi LLP to serve as Co-Lead Counsel, stating that it and its co-counsel have “ably and vigorously” litigated the case.  Plaintiffs allege that drug manufacturers Endo and Teikoku paid their would-be competitor Watson at least $200 million to stay off the market with its cheaper generic product, causing the class to suffer overcharge damages.

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Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Court Grants Final Approval of Settlement in In re Dynavax Technologies Corporation Securities Litigationhttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/158 On February 6, 2017, the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, entered final approval of the settlement reached in In re Dynavax Technologies Corp. Sec. Litig., No: 3:13-CV-02796-CRB, for which Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP served as sole Lead Counsel on behalf of the Class. The settlement provides for a cash payment of $4.5 million in exchange for plaintiffs’ release of all claims alleged in the action.

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Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
COURT APPOINTS FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP LEAD COUNSEL IN SECURITIES CLASS ACTION AGAINST GOPRO, INC.http://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/157 On February 6, 2017, Senior District Judge Claudia Wilken of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California appointed Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP to serve as Lead Counsel in Bielousov v. GoPro, Inc., et al., No. 4:16-CV-06654-CW.

For further inquiries regarding this matter, please contact Richard Gonnello at rgonnello@faruqilaw.com or (212) 983-9330.

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Tue, 7 Feb 2017 00:00:00Raul Mondragon
F&F Wins Significant Appeal against Verizon Communications, Inc.http://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/156 The New York Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a lower court’s rejection of the settlement for equitable relief in Gordon v. Verizon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 (1st Dep’t February 2, 2017)  holding that settlements for additional internal corporate information and governance reforms continue to serve as “a useful tool in remedying corporate misfeasance.” The First Department bucked a trend emanating from Delaware Chancery Court and, promoted by self-interested serial objectors, to view such settlements harshly, admonishing that “a more balanced approach in evaluating non-monetary class action settlements” is necessary. Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *5. The First Department expanded on the five-factor test established in Matter of Colt Indus. Shareholders Litig. (Woodrow v Colt Indus) (155 AD2d 154, 160 (1st Dep’t 1990), mod on other grounds 77 NY2d 185 (1991) (“Colt Factors” discussed below) for reviewing settlements and adopted a more holistic approach advocated by plaintiff that considered the benefit to shareholders and the corporation. In a well-reasoned opinion, the First Department reaffirmed decades’ worth of jurisprudence built on the view espoused by the U.S. Supreme Court that disclosure-based settlements enhance “the congressional belief that fair corporate suffrage is an important right that should attach to every equity security bought on a public exchange.”  J. I. Case Co. v. Borak, 377 U.S. 426, 431 (1964)(examining disclosure requirements under Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934).

Plaintiff had challenged  Verizon Communications, Inc.’s (“Verizon”) 2013 agreement to acquire  the 45% interest in Cellco Partnership  (d/b/a Verizon Wireless)  held by Vodafone Group, P.L.C. (“Vodafone”) in a cash and stock transaction. The total value of the deal was approximately $130 billion. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the Verizon Board  breached their fiduciary duties  in part by filing a misleading Proxy Statement that recommended the transaction and solicited shareholder to vote in favor of the transaction.   After negotiations, defendants agreed to plaintiff’s demand for the disclosure of additional material information concerning the banker’s valuations in support of its opinion that the transaction was fair for shareholders, and the requirement that for a period of three years, Verizon obtain a fairness opinion from an independent financial adviser in the event of a sale to a third party purchaser or spin-off of Verizon assets having a book value exceeding $14.4 billion. Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *2.  The supreme court, apparently swayed in part by speculation proffered by Professor Sean Griffith – a regular objector to many equitable settlement proceedings – that the governance reforms obtained no real benefit, failed to apply the Colt Factors and instead ruled that the additional information disseminated to shareholders was not “material” and that to require the Verizon Board to obtain a fairness opinion on future transactions could “curtail” the Board’s “flexibility.”  Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *2. 

The First Department agreed that courts must act as a “gatekeeper” when reviewing settlements of putative shareholder class actions and affirmed that in New York, that function is served by reviewing the non-monetary settlement terms under the Colt Factors, something the supreme court failed to do.  As applied to the Verizon settlement, those factors, including “the likelihood of success, the extent of support from the parties, the judgment of counsel, the presence of bargaining in good faith, and the nature of the issues of law and fact” were clearly met. Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742, at *4. 

But the First Department went further, as advocated by plaintiff, and examined whether the equitable relief obtained in the settlement was in the best interest of the settlement class as a whole and the corporation.  In support of its opinion, the court reviewed each of the four categories of supplemental disclosures provided to Verizon shareholders before they had to vote on the transaction, holding that shareholders benefitted from the additional information under standards applied by both New York and Delaware precedent.  Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *5. Verizon shareholders also benefitted from the governance reform obtained in the settlement requiring that the Board obtain an independent fairness opinion on future transactions, which acted to “safeguard the valuation of corporate assets in the event of such a sale…” Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *5. The benefit to the corporation was reflected in the fact that Verizon had “direct input” into the additional information provided to shareholders, the governance reforms, and the avoidance of additional attorney’s fees to defend the case. Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *6.

The First Department addressed the Delaware Chancery Court’s decision in Matter of Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litig., 129 A3d 884 (Del Ch 2016) head on, noting that New York courts applying the Colt Factors and the new “enhanced” standard articulated in Gordon v. Verizon, independently examine class action settlements based on standards comparable to those applied by the Delaware Court of Chancery.  The opinion by commentators that “disclosure only” settlements  may be “extinct” may be “premature.” Gordon, 2017 NY Slip Op 00742 at *3.

The case was remanded to supreme court to make a determination on an appropriate fee award.

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Fri, 3 Feb 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
James (Josh) M. Wilson and Adam Steinfeld made partners with the Firmhttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/155 Faruqi & Faruqi is pleased to announce that Josh Wilson and Adam Steinfeld are now partners with the Firm.  Josh continues to litigate in securities matters on behalf of investors nationwide. Adam continues to practice in the area of antitrust litigation.


Congratulations Josh and Adam!

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Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Peter Kohn and Joseph T. Lukens were both honored with the designation of Super Lawyer for 2017http://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/154 Peter Kohn and Joseph T. Lukens, Partners of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, were both honored with the designation of Super Lawyer in Pennsylvania for the year 2017. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

To view Peter Kohn's Super Lawyer profile, click here.

To view Joeseph T. Lukens Super Lawyer profile, click here.

 

 

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Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Faruqi Firm Files Antitrust Case Over ADHD Medicationhttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/153 On January 11, 2017, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP filed a federal antitrust class action case against brand and generic manufacturers of ADHD drug, Intuniv.  The complaint alleges that the companies, Shire and Actavis, violated the antitrust laws by entering into an anticompetitive agreement that delayed generic competition for Intuniv.  Under the agreement, Shire effectively paid Actavis tens of millions of dollars to delay launching a generic version of Intuniv.  As a result, purchasers of Intuniv were forced to pay higher prices for the drug.  The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and is captioned as follows: Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc. v. Shire LLC et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-10050.

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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Faruqi & Faruqi files slack-fill case against Nestle’ U.S.A., Inc.http://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/152 On January 3, 2017, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP filed a federal consumer class action case against Nestle’ U.S.A., Inc. for allegedly under-filling its opaque theater box Raisinets products to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, captioned Hafer v. Nestle’ U.S.A., Inc., No. 2:17-cv-00034.

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Mon, 9 Jan 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello
Faruqi & Faruqi files cases against generic drug manufacturershttp://www.faruqilaw.com/news/show/id/151 On December 27 & 28, 2016, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP filed several cases against generic drug manufacturers for allegedly conspiring to raise the prices of generic divalproex ER, desonide, pravastatin, econazole, fluocinonide, levothyroxine, propranolol, and clobetasol. The firm represents classes of direct purchasers of the generic drugs and is seeking an award of triple damages under the Clayton Act. The cases were filed in federal court in Philadelphia. They are as follows: Case Nos. 2:16-cv-06645; 2:16-cv-06662; 2:16-cv-06644; 2:16-cv-06638; 2:16-cv-06639; 2:16-cv-06671; 2:16-cv-06672; 2:16-cv-06644. Collectively, the generic companies named are Dr. Reddy’s, Impax, Mylan, Par, Zydus, Actavis, Fougera, Perrigo, Sandoz, Sun, Taro, Apotex, Glenmark, Lupin, Teva, Teligent, Lannett, Endo, Heritage, Breckenridge, Upsher-Smith, Hi-Tech, and Wockhardt.

The cases follow a series of governmental investigations at the state and federal level, which led to two criminal indictments and a state attorneys general action. Faruqi & Faruqi also serves as counsel for the class in In re Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:16-md-02724, an action previously filed against generic drug manufacturers in Pennsylvania federal court.

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Fri, 6 Jan 2017 00:00:00Alex Coviello