Paul Hastings Wins Dismissal of Securities Class Action Suit Against Eastman Kodak CEO and Chairman
New York – Paul Hastings LLP secured a major victory for Eastman Kodak CEO and Chairman James Continenza with the dismissal of a securities class action filed against him, Kodak, and other directors and executives for alleged violations of federal securities laws.
“We are very pleased with the decision,” said John Nowak, a partner at Paul Hastings LLP. “It has been a privilege to represent Jim Continenza through this process, and we’re happy to deliver this result for him. It is truly a team win for Kodak and its directors and executives.”
Nowak and the Paul Hastings team defended against plaintiffs’ claims that James Continenza made false or misleading statements to media outlets regarding a Letter of Interest with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for a potential $765 million loan and the loan’s potential job-creating benefits as it was intended to help finance Kodak’s efforts to manufacture critical pharmaceutical materials and ingredients, including those allegedly relating to COVID-19 treatment. The plaintiffs also alleged that defendants engaged in a scheme in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5(a) and (c) in connection with a grant of options made to James Continenza and other executives the day prior to the announcement of the Letter of Interest for the loan.
In dismissing the class action with prejudice, Chief Judge Elizabeth Wolford for the Western District of New York found that the statements from James Continenza were statements of opinion, puffery or forward looking statements under the safe harbor provisions of the securities laws. In her opinion rejecting plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety, Chief Judge Wolford wrote, “Plaintiffs allege nothing more than fraud by hindsight” which is “not actionable as a matter of law.” Chief Judge Wolford also noted that the plaintiffs had not alleged that the defendants engaged in any deceptive or manipulative act.
The Paul Hastings team was led by John Nowak, and included senior counsel Kevin Logue; and associates Zachary Zwillinger, Jessica Baker, and Molly Wolfe. The team included valuable contributions from former colleagues Katherine Solomon and Anna Faber.
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