NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Azure Power Global Limited (NYSE: AZRE), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), TuSimple Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSP), and Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
Azure Power Global Limited (NYSE: AZRE)
Class Period: June 15, 2021 – August 26, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: October 31, 2022
On August 29, 2022, Azure announced the resignation of its CEO, less than two months after his appointment. The Company also disclosed that it had “received a whistleblower complaint in May 2022 alleging potential procedural irregularities and misconduct by certain employees at a plant belonging to one of its subsidiaries.” During the Company’s review of these allegations, Azure “discovered deviations from safety and quality norms” and “also identified evidence of manipulation of project data and information by certain employees.”
On this news, the Company’s stock fell $4.61, or 44%, to close at $5.85 per share on August 29, 2022, on unusually heavy trading volume.
The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that there were procedural irregularities, including deviations from safety and quality standards, at one of Azure’s plants; (2) that certain project data was manipulated; (3) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s internal controls and procedures were not effective; (4) that Azure had received a credible whistleblower report alleging such misconduct; and (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
For more information on the Azure class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/AZRE
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)
Class Period: February 19, 2021 – June 8, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: October 31, 2022
Abbott manufactures various forms of infant formula including formula sold under the brand names Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. Prior to February 2022, Abbott had produced 40% of the United States’ infant formula. Of that amount, nearly half was produced in its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, MI.
On February 17, 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced it was investigating four consumer complaints of infant illness related to powdered infant formula produced by Abbott in Sturgis. The FDA stated that it had initiated an onsite inspection at the facility and to date had found several positive contamination results from environmental samples for a bacteria, Cronbacter sakazakii (“Cronbacter”), linked to infant illnesses and death. On the same day, Abbott issued a recall of certain infant formula products including the popular brands Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare, all manufactured in Sturgis.
On this news, the price of Abbott common stock declined by more than 3%.
Then, on March 22, 2022, the FDA release reports from its three inspections of the Sturgis facility conducted in September 2019, September 2021, and most recently between January 31, 2022 and March 18, 2022. The FDA stated that these reports “do not constitute final FDA determinations” of specific violations, but highlighted that during its most recent inspection that (a) Abbott failed to establish process controls “designed to ensure that infant formula does not become adulterated due to the presence of microorganisms in the formula or in the processing environment” and (b) Abbott failed to “ensure that all surfaces that contacted infant formula were maintained to product infant formula from being contaminated by any source.”
On this news, Abbott’s stock price fell by an additional 4%.
On April 28, 2022, the FDA released a redacted copy of a whistleblower complaint sent to the FDA in October 2021, revealing that the issues disclosed in February and March 2022 were actually known to Abbott management far earlier. The whistleblower complaint identified numerous serious examples of misconduct by Abbott management at Sturgis including the falsification of testing records, the release of untested infant formula to the market, efforts to mislead the FDA during its 2019 inspection audit, the continuation of known deficient testing procedures, and an inability to trace products to properly implement recalls of affected pallets of formula.
On this news, Abbott’s stock price fell nearly 4%.
Finally, on June 8, 2022, investors learned that Abbott was aware of the whistleblower’s formal allegations in early 2021, when it was reported that the FDA whistleblower had filed a complaint in February 2021 with the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) and that OSHA delivered that complaint to Abbott and the FDA during the same month.
On this news, Abbott’s stock price fell by an additional 3.5%, further damaging investors.
The Abbot class action lawsuit alleges that defendants put profitability ahead of children’s safety. During the Class Period, Abbott engaged in a scheme to maximize revenues and inflate its stock price while disregarding and then concealing lapses in safety protocols that were ultimately linked to serious infant illnesses and even deaths.
For more information on the Abbott class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/ABT
TuSimple Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSP)
Class Period: April 15, 2021 – August 1, 2022 or pursuant to the Company’s April 15, 2021 IPO
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: October 31, 2022
TuSimple is the subject of a Wall Street Journal article published on August 1, 2022. The article alleges that one of the Company’s autonomously driven trucks left its lane of travel without warning before striking a cement barricade. The article states that the accident “underscores concerns that the autonomous-trucking company is risking safety on public roads in a rush to deliver driverless trucks to market.” Although the Company attempted to blame human error, the Journal points out that “it was the autonomous-driving system that turned the wheel and that blaming the entire accident on human error is misleading.” The article also reveals that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has launched a “safety compliance investigation.”
Based on this news, shares of TuSimple fell $0.97, or 9.7%, during intraday trading to close at $8.99 per share on August 1, 2022.
According to the complaint, the Company made false and misleading statements to the market. TuSimple overstated its commitment to safety and concealed significant problems with its technology. The Company rushed testing of its autonomous driving systems to bear its competitors to the market. The Company fostered a corporate culture that ignored safety in favor of ambitious delivery schedules. This culture made accidents during road testing more likely. Based on these facts, the Company’s public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. When the market learned the truth about TuSimple, investors suffered damages.
For more information on the TuSimple class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/TSP
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS)
Class Period: October 20, 2020 – May 19, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: November 1, 2022
Kohl’s operates as a retail company in the U.S. The Company offers branded apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty, and home products through its stores and website.
In October 2020, Kohl’s announced that it had entered into a new strategic framework to “drive top-line growth,” “expand operating margin,” and become “the most trusted retailer of choice for the active and casual lifestyle” (the “Strategic Plan”). Specifically, the Strategic Plan featured “new initiatives to position the company for long-term success,” including “be[ing] the destination for active, casual and beauty for the entire family from the most trusted brands, always delivering quality and discovery,” “lead[ing] with loyalty and value through a best-in-class rewards program,” and “offer[ing] a differentiated omnichannel experience that is easy and inviting, no matter how customers want to shop.” In addition, Kohl’s announced that the Company was “focused on increasing profitability with a goal of expanding its operating margin to 7% to 8%.” In announcing the Strategic Plan, the Company touted its purportedly strong foundation of customers, industry-leading loyalty and charge card programs, high volume of stores, and large and growing digital business.
On May 19, 2022, Kohl’s issued a press release announcing the Company’s fiscal Q1 2022 results, reporting, among other items, a net sales figure expected to grow up to only 1% (compared to Wall Street consensus growth of 1.94%), earnings per share of $0.11 (missing estimates by $0.59), a revenue figure which only barely edged expectations, and the Company’s decision to cut its full year earnings forecast. These results were at odds with the Defendants’ representations regarding the successful execution of the Company’s Strategic Plan, which was purportedly poised to drive top-line growth and position the Company for long-term success. Further, the press release quoted Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Defendant Michelle Gass, who stated, in relevant part, “[t]he year has started out below our expectations. Following a strong start to the quarter with positive low-single digits comps through late March, sales considerably weakened in April as we encountered macro headwinds related to lapping last year’s stimulus and an inflationary consumer environment.”
Then, on May 20, 2022, Macellum Advisors GP, LLC (“Macellum”), “a long-term holder of nearly 5% of the outstanding common shares of Kohl’s”, issued a statement addressing “[t]his quarter’s extremely disappointing results,” which Macellum attributed to a “flawed strategic plan and an inability to execute.” Macellum also stated that “the current Board appears to have withheld material information from shareholders about the state of Kohl’s in the lead-up to this year’s pivotal annual meeting,” which “suggests to us a clear breach of fiduciary duty.”
On this news, Kohl’s stock price fell $5.84 per share, or 12.97%, to close at $39.20 per share on May 20, 2022.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Kohl’s Strategic Plan was not well tailored to achieving the Company’s stated goals; (ii) the Defendants had likewise overstated the Company’s success in executing its Strategic Plan; (iii) Kohl’s had deficient disclosure controls and procedures, internal control over financial reporting, and corporate governance mechanisms; (iv) as a result, the Company’s Board was able to and did withhold material information from shareholders about the state of Kohl’s in the lead-up to the Company’s annual meeting; (v) all the foregoing, once revealed, was likely to have a material negative impact on Kohl’s financial condition and reputation; and (vi) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
For more information on the Kohl’s class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/KSS
About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.
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Brandon Walker, Esq.
Melissa Fortunato, Esq.