Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA), 15 U.S.C. 77p(b)–(f), 78bb(f)), bars private class actions based on state law in cases where the plaintiff alleges a material falsehood or omission connected to the purchase or sale of most federally-regulated securities. In this case, plaintiff filed suit for breach of contract and various fiduciary duties under Massachusetts law. The district judge held that SLUSA barred his claims, and dismissed them with prejudice. The panel held that dismissals pursuant to SLUSA's class-action bar must be for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction—and therefore without prejudice—rather than on the merits. Therefore, the panel affirmed the district court's judgment to the extent it concluded that plaintiff's claims were barred. View "Hampton v. Pacific Investment Management Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal of their amended securities fraud class action complaint, alleging that Atossa and its Chairman and CEO, Steven Quay, made a series of public statements about Atossa's breast cancer screening products that were materially false or misleading. The district court dismissed the complaint. The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs have properly alleged falsity and materiality as to some, but not all, of these statements. In this case, plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that the following were materially false or misleading: (1) Quay's statement quoted in Atossa's December 20, 2012 Form 8–K filing describing the ForeCYTE Test as "FDA-cleared"; (2) Quay's statement during his interview with NewsMedical.Net that the ForeCYTE test had "gone through all of the FDA clearance process"; (3) Atossa's Form 8–K filing on February 25, 2013, giving notice of the FDA's warning letter; and (4) Quay's statement during his interview with the Wall Street Transcript that "FDA clearance risk has been achieved." Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. View "Levi v. Atossa Genetics, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed this would-be class action on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of QSI, alleging that during the Class Period, QSI and its officers made false or misleading statements about the current and past state of QSI's sales "pipeline," and used those statements to support public guidance to investors about QSI's projected growth and revenue. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the complaint and remanded for further proceedings. The panel held that some of defendants' statements were mixed statements, containing non-forward-looking statements as well as forward-looking statements of projected revenue and earnings; a defendant may not transform non-forward-looking statements into forward-looking statements that are protected by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), 15 U.S.C. 78u-5, by combining non-forward-looking statements about past or current facts with forward-looking statements about projected revenues and earnings; many of defendants' non-forward-looking statements were materially false or misleading; and some of defendants' forward-looking statements were materially false or misleading, were not accompanied by appropriate cautionary statements, and were made with actual knowledge of their false or misleading nature. View "City of Miami Fire Fighters' and Police Officers' Retirement Trust v. Quality Systems, Inc." on Justia Law