Robbins Geller Achieves $350 Million Settlement in Securities Case Against Alphabet

Main Column Image
April 3, 2024

Updated April 3, 2024: This article was originally published on February 16, 2024. It has been updated to include news of the settlement receiving preliminary approval from the court. 

On February 5, 2024, a $350 million settlement was presented for court approval in a securities fraud case against Google, its parent company Alphabet, and certain officers. The case is led by lead plaintiff State of Rhode Island, Office of the Rhode Island Treasurer on behalf of the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island. The settlement received preliminary approval on April 1, 2024. If it receives final approval from the court, the settlement will be the largest recovery for a privacy-related securities fraud.

The case arises out of an alleged scheme that began with Google’s discovery of a years-long software glitch in its Google+ platform that gave third-party developers access to private user information. Defendants are alleged to have misled investors by concealing Google’s data-security vulnerabilities and the lengths to which Google would have to go to avoid Congressional intervention. Defendants’ scheme allegedly caused the company’s stock to trade at artificially inflated prices.

“Most people thought no one could recover a penny in this case, and when the first judge granted Google’s motion to dismiss everything, the ‘I told you so’s’ were deafening. But that just made [Rhode Island] and us more determined,” partner Jason A. Forge, who served as lead counsel, told Law360. “That determination led to a published reversal from the Ninth Circuit and what would be the largest ever post-dismissal recovery in this circuit.”

Forge argued the case before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that unanimously reversed the district court’s dismissal order. After that appellate victory, the prosecution team worked with experts from Berkeley Law to develop a damages methodology that could account for the unique circumstances of the case. This proved pivotal in reaching the settlement that Rhode Island has presented for the court’s consideration and approval.

“One of the downsides of settling a case like this – we never really got a chance to test that with the court, so we didn’t get a ruling on that” damages theory, Forge told Bloomberg Law.

Robbins Geller attorneys Jason A. Forge, Laura M. Andracchio, Michael Albert, J. Marco Janoski Gray, Ting H. Liu, Kenneth P. Dolitsky, and Sarah A. Fallon represent lead plaintiff State of Rhode Island.

About Robbins Geller

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading complex litigation firms, representing plaintiffs in securities fraud, shareholder derivative, antitrust, corporate takeover, and consumer fraud and privacy cases. With 200 lawyers in 10 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the world’s largest plaintiffs’ firms, and the Firm’s attorneys have obtained many of the largest securities, antitrust, and consumer class action recoveries in history.

The Firm is ranked #1 on the most recent ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for recovering more than $1.75 billion for investors in 2022 – the third year in a row Robbins Geller tops the list. And in those three years alone, Robbins Geller recovered nearly $5.3 billion for investors, more than double the amount recovered by any other plaintiffs’ firm. The Firm secured the largest-ever securities fraud class action settlement – $7.2 billion – in In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation.

For media inquiries, please contact media@rgrdlaw.com or call (619) 338-3821.

In re Alphabet, Inc. Sec. Litig., 1 F.4th 687 (9th Cir. 2021), cert. denied, 142 S. Ct. 1227 (2022).

Read More Firm News

Main Menu