News - 2019
Saxena White Appointed Lead Counsel in Evolent Health, Inc. Securities Class Action
Saxena White P.A. is pleased to announce that on November 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia appointed the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System and the Plymouth County Retirement System as Lead Plaintiff and Saxena White as Lead Counsel in the securities fraud class action against Evolent Health, Inc. and its senior executives. The action alleges that during the Class Period, the Defendants materially misrepresented the nature of Evolent’s customer “partnerships,” including its partnership Passport Health Plan, and the viability and sustainability of its partnership business model.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against Health Insurance Innovations, Inc.
On November 4, 2019, Saxena White secured a major victory with an important decision issued by the Middle District of Florida in Keippel v. Health Insurance Innovations, Inc., et al., No. 8:19-cv-421-WFJ-CPT. The Honorable William F. Jung denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety, sustaining Lead Plaintiffs’ claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
As the Court’s order denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss summarizes, “Plaintiffs allege a widespread fraudulent scheme in which agents at HIIQ’s distributor call centers (Simple Health) preyed on consumers in search of comprehensive health insurance and sold them essentially worthless policies in a classic bait-and-switch scam.” The Court found that the Complaint’s allegations of scienter were bolstered by allegations that while Defendants made “repeated public representations regarding high customer satisfaction, Defendants were exchanging internal emails about ‘out of control’ consumer complaints.” The case is now in the discovery phase.
Saxena White Announces $6 Million Settlement of Iconix Brand Group Securities Litigation
Saxena White is pleased to announce that a $6 million settlement has been reached in securities class action In re Iconix Brand Group, Inc. et al., pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case alleged that Iconix deceived investors by creating sham overseas joint ventures to artificially inflate its revenue. Saxena White achieved this meaningful recovery despite the fact that the Court ultimately dismissed the action as to the Company’s auditor, BDO, who approved the joint ventures.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against Patterson Companies, Inc.
On September 10, 2019, Saxena White secured a major victory with an important decision issued by the District of Minnesota Court in Plymouth County Retirement System v. Patterson Companies, Inc. et al. No. 1:17-cv-10014. In his order, Judge Michael J. Davis adopted the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Steven E. Rau dated July 25, 2019 regarding Defendants’ motion to dismiss.
Significantly, the Court found that Lead Plaintiffs alleged “a long-running scheme at Patterson, concocted in the upper echelons of corporate management, to collude with its direct competitors to stifle new entrants to the market to protect its artificially inflated prices charged by reason of unorganized buyers with little power.” Lead Plaintiffs’ allegations, according to Court, were bolstered by the FTC complaint filed against Patterson and its competitors, and sufficiently asserted securities violations against Patterson and its former CEO Scott Anderson.
The case is now in the discovery phase.
Saxena White Appointed Lead Counsel in A.O. Smith Corporation Securities Class Action
Saxena White P.A. is pleased to announce that on September 16, 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin appointed the City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System as Lead Plaintiff and Saxena White as Lead Counsel in the securities fraud class action against A.O. Smith Corporation. The action alleges that during the Class Period the Defendants failed to disclose that the Company had used a distribution partner, Jiangsu UTP Supply Chain, to artificially inflate the Company's sales and gross margins in the important Chinese market.
Saxena White Announces Proposed $28.25 Million Settlement of TrueCar Inc. Securities Class Action
Saxena White is pleased to announce that on August 2, 2019, the parties reached a settlement for the securities class action litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, in Leon D. Milbeck v. TrueCar, Inc. et al., No. 2:18-cv-02612, against TrueCar and certain current and former senior executive officers and/or directors of TrueCar. Lead Plaintiff obtained a $28.25 million settlement after Saxena White’s vigorous prosecution of the action on an expedited schedule, including successfully opposing Defendants’ motion to dismiss and successfully moving for Class Certification. Saxena White is pleased to achieve this outstanding recovery for shareholders.
New Senior Shareholder Derivative Action Settles for $53 Million
Described as a “landmark” settlement by Law360, on July 31, 2019, the Delaware Court of Chancery approved a $53 million settlement in the shareholder derivative action captioned John Cumming v. Wesley R. Edens, et al. The suit targeted New Senior Investment Group’s $640 million acquisition of a portfolio of senior living properties owned by an affiliate of its investment manager, which, according to Plaintiff’s experts, damaged New Senior by over $100 million. The settlement is the largest derivative action settlement as a percentage of market capitalization to date in Delaware and is one of the top ten derivative action settlements in the history of the Court of Chancery.
The plaintiff’s extensive discovery efforts in the case included the review of more than 800,000 pages of documents, 16 depositions, and the filing of six motions to compel. Following fact discovery, the parties exchanged ten expert reports related to the damages from the real estate portfolio purchase and from a related secondary stock offering. After a mediation and extensive follow-up negotiations, the parties agreed to settle the litigation in exchange for the payment of $53 million in cash to New Senior. The settlement also included valuable corporate governance reforms, including the board’s agreement to approve and submit to New Senior’s stockholders for adoption at the 2019 annual meeting amendments to New Senior’s bylaws and certificate of incorporation which would (a) provide that directors be elected by a majority of the votes cast in any uncontested election of directors, and (b) eliminate New Senior’s staggered board, so that all directors are elected on an annual basis.
In his remarks at the final settlement hearing on July 31, Vice-Chancellor Joseph R. Slights called the settlement “impressive” and further described counsel’s efforts as “hard fought, but fought in the right way to reach a productive result.”
Saxena White Announces Opening of California Office
Saxena White P.A., a leading national law firm specializing in representing institutional investors in complex securities litigation, is pleased to announce the opening of its newest office in San Diego, California. The California office opens with a team of five highly experienced attorneys and professional staff with nearly 90 years of combined legal experience.
The California office is led by David Kaplan, who joins the Firm as a Director. Mr. Kaplan has over 17 years of experience in the field of investor litigation. Prior to joining Saxena White, Mr. Kaplan was a partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, where he co-chaired that firm’s direct action practice, counseled institutional investors as a member of the new matters department, and successfully prosecuted all manner of complex securities litigation. A large part of Mr. Kaplan’s practice involves securities “opt-out” actions. A nationally recognized expert in the field of direct opt-out actions, Mr. Kaplan has advised many of the world’s largest mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds, and insurance companies on whether to remain passive participants in securities class actions, or opt out in order to protect and maximize their recoveries. Mr. Kaplan has successfully represented institutional investors in strategic opt-out actions in federal and state courts nationwide. He has published numerous articles relating to class actions, opt-out actions, and the federal securities laws, and is a frequent speaker at educational forums involving matters of interest to the institutional investor community. Brandon Marsh, an accomplished securities litigator, has also joined the California office. Mr. Marsh brings with him a decade of experience in all phases of litigation in federal and state courts. Prior to joining Saxena White, Mr. Marsh practiced alongside Mr. Kaplan at Bernstein Litowitz, where, as Senior Counsel, he represented institutional investors in both class and opt-out litigation.
“It is an honor to join Saxena White,” Mr. Kaplan said. “Its well-earned reputation for litigation prowess and outstanding client service is second to none. Moreover, it’s a privilege to bring to the West Coast the only certified minority and female owned firm representing institutional investors in securities matters,” Mr. Kaplan added. “In opening the California office, I am thrilled to be joined by a number of my former colleagues from Bernstein Litowitz who are among the very best in the business. Together, we will maintain Saxena White’s laser focus on responsive, ethical, and personalized client service – and protecting investors’ rights through litigation when necessary.” Mr. Marsh added, “Since its founding, Saxena White has been a tireless advocate for institutional investors. The firm’s dedication to excellence has achieved several groundbreaking victories for investors, and we are eager to build on these achievements.”
Mr. Kaplan graduated with High Honors from Duke University School of Law, where he served on the editorial board of Duke Law Review. Mr. Marsh graduated with Distinction from Stanford Law School, and was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Marsh clerked for the Honorable Jerome Farris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“The opening of the California office of Saxena White is an additional milestone in the Firm’s growth, following the opening of our New York office in 2017 and the celebration of our ten-year anniversary in 2016,” said Saxena White founding shareholder Maya Saxena.
Saxena White Announces Approval of FXCM Derivative Settlement
Saxena White is pleased to announce that on June 5, 2019, the Delaware Court of Chancery approved a $1.55 million settlement entered into with FXCM’s former Board of Directors, on behalf of the Company. The cash component of the settlement is a significant benefit to the Company, exceeding its market cap several times over and representing the culmination of nearly five years of litigation. In approving the settlement, the Court remarked that “given the facts here . . . I should applaud” Saxena White for the “excellent result” we achieved faced with an “enormously difficult case.” The Court went on to praise our attorneys as “among the best” who did their “utmost” in “a very well-tried case.”
The Florida Super Lawyers Magazine Recognizes Maya Saxena for the Tenth Year in a Row
Maya Saxena has been selected by her peers and the Super Lawyer research team for the tenth year in a row for inclusion in The Florida Super Lawyers Magazine 2019 edition as a leading lawyer in the field of securities litigation. This honor highlights peer recognition and excellence for each field of law.
Brandon Grzandziel, Kathryn Weidner and Dianne Pitre Have Been Recognized By The Florida Super Lawyers Magazine as 2019 Rising Stars
Brandon Grzandziel, Kathryn Weidner and Dianne Pitre were recently recognized in the 2019 edition of Super Lawyers for securities litigation. Nominated by fellow attorneys and then thoroughly examined by the Super Lawyer research team, this honor highlights peer recognition and excellence for each field of law.
Saxena White Appointed Lead Counsel in Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Securities Class Action
Saxena White P.A. is pleased to announce that, on May 13, 2019, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida appointed the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund and the City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System as Lead Plaintiff and Saxena White as Lead Counsel in the securities fraud class action against Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. The action alleges that the Company misled investors by failing to disclose that a substantial portion of its revenues were derived from third parties that used deceptive tactics to sell the Company’s insurance policies, and that regulatory scrutiny of these third parties materially impacted the Company’s operations.
Saxena White Appointed Lead Counsel in Perrigo Company PLC Securities Class Action
Saxena White P.A. is pleased to announce that, on March 24, 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida appointed the City of Boca Raton General Employees’ Pension Plan and the Palm Bay Police and Firefighters’ Pension Fund as Lead Plaintiff and Saxena White as Lead Counsel in the securities fraud class action against Perrigo Company PLC. The action alleges that Perrigo hid a multi-billion-dollar tax liability from its investors. Specifically, in November 2017, Ireland’s tax authority notified Perrigo that it was auditing Perrigo’s sale of its royalty rights to a flagship drug—Tysabri—in transactions worth a total of more than $6 billion. Perrigo had improperly applied a 12.5% income tax rate, rather than the appropriate 33% capital gains tax rate, to the transactions. Yet, in violation of the securities laws and GAAP, Perrigo concealed the details of the audit from the public—even after the Irish tax authority sent Perrigo a letter notifying Perrigo that it owed $1.6 billion in back taxes. Once Perrigo was forced to reveal the truth, on December 20, 2018, Perrigo’s stock price fell 30%--from $52.36 to $37.03 per share—wiping out nearly $2.1 billion in market capitalization in just one day.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against DaVita Inc.
On March 28, 2019, Saxena White secured a major victory with an important decision issued by the District of Colorado Court in Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Georgia et al., v. DaVita Inc. et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-00304-WJM-CBS (D. Colo.). In his order, Judge William J. Martinez denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety.
The Amended Complaint alleged that Defendants DaVita Inc., one of the largest dialysis providers in the country, and certain of its executives engaged in a fraudulent scheme to illegally steer dialysis patients away from Medicare and Medicaid and into more lucrative commercial insurance plans for DaVita’s own financial gain, artificially inflating the Company’s stock price in violation of the federal securities laws. In addition to damaging shareholders, DaVita’s disreputable patient steering negatively impacted end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in a myriad of ways, including by making it difficult for them to obtain a life-saving kidney transplant. Dialysis does not restore kidney function, but rather manually filters toxins to keep ESRD patients alive longer. The only way to restore kidney function is through a life-saving kidney transplant. The five-year survival rate for ESRD patients on dialysis is 35.8%, with 25% of patients dying within the first year of dialysis treatments. In contrast, the five-year survival rate for ESRD patients who receive a kidney transplant is 85.5%.
The Court determined that “DaVita expressly disclaimed steering and publicly attributed success to other factors, while fully cognizant that it had a policy of directing ESRD patients to private insurance and internal metrics to demonstrate its success in directing patients.” The Court found that the facts alleged in the complaint “give rise to a strong inference that Defendants made statements about steering and the source of Defendants’ financial success with the intent to manipulate, deceive, or defraud, or were reckless because their statements presented a danger of misleading buyers.”
The case is now in the discovery phase.
Saxena White Announces $320 Million Settlement of Wells Fargo Federal Shareholder Derivative Litigation
Saxena White is pleased to announce that a $320 million settlement has been reached in the consolidated federal shareholder derivative action captioned In re Wells Fargo & Company Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-5541, pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The Settlement includes the largest insurer-funded cash component of any shareholder derivative settlement in history. The benefits to Wells Fargo of the proposed Settlement include a monetary consideration of $240 million paid to Wells Fargo from its insurers and Corporate Governance Reforms valued at $80 million. The Settlement is subject to Court approval, and a preliminary approval hearing is scheduled before the Honorable Judge Jon S. Tigar for April 4, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. PST in San Francisco, California.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against Credit Suisse Group AG
On February 19, 2019, Saxena White secured a major victory with an important decision issued by the Southern District of New York Court in City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System et al. v. Credit Suisse Group AG et al. No. 1:17-cv-10014. In her order, Judge Lorna G. Schofield denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss.
The Court found that the complaint “sufficiently pleads that [Credit Suisse’s] statements regarding its ‘binding’ risk limits were materially misleading in light of the Complaint’s allegations that [Credit Suisse] routinely revised its limits.” The Court determined that “Defendants’ failure to disclose that it could raise, and in fact was repeatedly raising risk limits with respect to [Credit Suisse’s] illiquid investments constitutes a material omission.”
The case is now in the discovery phase.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against TrueCar, Inc.
On February 5, 2019, Saxena White secured a major victory with an important decision issued by the Central District of California Court in Leon D. Milbeck v. TrueCar, Inc. et al., C.A. No. 2:18-cv-02612. In his order, the Honorable Stephen Wilson denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety.
The Court found that Saxena White “adequately alleged—under both the plausibility and heightened pleading standards—that Defendants made materially false and misleading statements” by warning that USAA, its most important affinity partner, may redesign its website in a way that would materially harm TrueCar in the future when that risk had “already come to fruition,” and by “falsely representing that USAA would be a key driver of unit and revenue growth in 2017.” The Court further found that Plaintiff had “adequately alleged a strong inference of scienter by alleging that Defendants knew about USAA’s website redesign and its impact as of January 2017”—several months before the redesign was announced to investors—and that TrueCar’s former CFO and CAO had engaged in stock in sales that were suspicious in their timing, size, and amount.
The case is now in the discovery phase.
Saxena White Welcomes Scott Guarcello
Mr. Guarcello’s practice focuses on the discovery stage of litigation. With over 10 years of significant complex e-discovery experience, he brings to Saxena White an expertise honed by the numerous e-discovery services and training programs that he created, led and supported while serving as a Senior Managing Attorney for a global e-discovery consulting and services provider.
Combining both discovery and technical expertise, Mr. Guarcello advises on best practices concerning information governance principles, ESI protocols, collections, processing, large-scale document reviews, production management and related infrastructure applications. He is currently a member of the teams prosecuting In re Wells Fargo & Co. Shareholder Litigation, In re HD Supply Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation, and In re Parametric Sound Shareholders’ Litigation.
Mr. Guarcello earned a Bachelor of Science from Stetson University and received a Juris Doctor from Florida International University where he graduated cum laude with a concentration in securities law. He was a regular recipient of the Dean’s List Award and received the CALI Book Awards for the Complex Litigation and Corporate Tax courses. As a member of the Florida Bar, Mr. Guarcello has also received the Legal Elite Award for 2017 and 2018 and holds extensive industry certifications that span review tools, feature-specific technical applications, project management and analytics. As an active member in the e-discovery community, Mr. Guarcello has been a guest speaker for both intimate and large audiences.
Saxena White Welcomes Fei-Lu Qian
Mr. Qian is a graduate of Union College (B.A., Political Science, with Honors, 1998) and Albany Law School (J.D., 2003). During law school he served as an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review and interned for the Honorable Lawrence E. Kahn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. Mr. Qian also served as a legal intern with the Office of New York State Attorney General. Prior to joining Saxena White, Mr. Qian was associated with several boutique law firms in New York City, where he specialized in securities litigation.
Mr. Qian is a member of the New York Bar, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York.
Saxena White Welcomes Donald Grunewald
Donald Grunewald focuses on performing research for securities and derivatives litigation. Before joining Saxena White, Mr. Grunewald taught Legal Research and other legal courses at a college in New York for six years. He has prepared economic and legal research for litigation, businesses, and academics.
Mr. Grunewald earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Haverford College in 2004. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence from Oxford University and a Master of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He has been a member of the New York State Bar since 2008.
Kathryn Weidner and Adam Warden Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide as 2019 Top Up and Comers
Kathryn Weidner and Adam Warden were recently recognized for the second time as a Top Up and Comer by the South Florida Legal Guide™ for Securities Litigation. Chosen by fellow attorneys across South Florida, this honor highlights peer recognition and excellence for each field of law.
Saxena White Appoints Brandon Grzandziel to Director of Firm
Saxena White announced on December 17, 2018, that Brandon Grzandziel will be promoted from Attorney to a Director of the firm, effective immediately. Being a tenured attorney at Saxena White, Mr. Grzandziel will use his knowledge to lead the firm into a strategic and prosperous future.
See Full Press Release Here.