Robbins Geller Defeats Motion to Dismiss for Ryanair Holdings Investors
In an order dated June 1, 2020, the Honorable J. Paul Oetken of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied defendants’ motion to dismiss in City of Birmingham Firemen’s and Policemen’s Supplemental Pension System v. Ryanair Holdings plc, a case alleging that the Dublin-based airline operator and its CEO Michael O’Leary violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. City of Birmingham Firemen’s and Policemen’s Supplemental Pension System and City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System are serving as lead plaintiff in this action.
The case alleges that during the class period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding Ryanair’s business and operations, including that the state of the company’s labor relations was far worse than had been publicly represented by defendants. As a result of defendants’ false statements and/or omissions, the company’s American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) traded at artificially inflated prices during the class period, reaching a high of more than $126 per ADS.
In denying defendants’ motion, Judge Oetken noted that plaintiffs had “adequately pleaded materiality, falsity, and scienter with respect to [d]efendants’ statements regarding the likelihood of unionization,” including that “Ryanair would not recognize employee unions.” Judge Oetken held that O’Leary’s subsequent admission that he had “‘long anticipated’ unionization . . . is direct evidence of [d]efendants’ knowledge of the true likelihood of unionization at the time they made the statements denying the existence of any likelihood.”
City of Birmingham Firemen’s and Policemen’s Supplemental Pension System v. Ryanair Holdings plc, et al., No. 1:18-cv-10330-JPO, Opinion and Order (S.D.N.Y. June 1, 2020).
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