Settlement of Klein v. Altria Group, et al.
The parties have reached a settlement of this action, pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division. The settlement provides for the payment of $90 million for the benefit of eligible Settlement Class Members. Lead Plaintiffs Construction Laborers Pension Trust of Greater St. Louis and Donald and Sarah Sherbondy (“Plaintiffs”) alleged Defendants violated §§10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by allegedly making material misstatements and/or omissions of material fact in public statements regarding Altria Group, Inc.’s (“Altria”) $12.8 billion investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. (“JLI”), and failing to inform investors about the material risks created by what Plaintiffs allege to be JLI’s marketing practices with respect to underage consumers. These misstatements or omissions artificially inflated the price of Altria securities and after subsequent disclosures were made, the price of Altria’s stock declined.
The Settlement Class consists of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Altria securities between October 25, 2018 and April 1, 2020, both dates inclusive, and were allegedly damaged thereby. Excluded from the Settlement Class are (i) Defendants, (ii) current and former officers and directors of Altria and JLI; (iii) members of the Immediate Family of each of the Individual Defendants; (iv) all subsidiaries and affiliates of Altria and JLI and the directors and officers of Altria, JLI, and their respective subsidiaries or affiliates; (v) all persons, firms, trusts, corporations, officers, directors, and any other individual or entity in which any Defendant has a controlling interest; (vi) the legal representatives, agents, affiliates, heirs, successors-in-interest or assigns of all such excluded parties; and (vii) any persons or entities who properly exclude themselves by filing a valid and timely request for exclusion.
The settlement was approved by the Court on March 31, 2022.
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP served as co-lead counsel in this case.
If you have any questions about the settlement or the litigation, please contact Rick Nelson at 1-800-449-4900.