When many people in Connecticut and elsewhere conjure up images of victims susceptible to investment and other types of securities fraud, they might reasonably picture an isolated elderly person who lacks financial acumen, keeps money stashed around the house and is eager to talk with anyone who might call on the phone.
Michael Trimble's disability is evident and well-established, but it seemingly had no connection with his ability to competently -- even admirably -- carry out his work-related duties at the Kroger supermarket chain's corporate offices in Portland, Oregon.
Class actions allow individuals to seek redress in situations where it would be illogical or overly burdensome for them to pursue their case individually. For example, when individual damages incurred pale in comparison to the expenses of attorneys' fees and other costs associated with pursuing a case a class action may be the only way these cases see a court room. Some criticize class actions as being "anti-business" because they can result in massive settlements due to the aggregation of damages across the class.
From wedding to, well, penitentiary.
Recently pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi USA LLC ("Fresenius") accused Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. ("Par") of abusing its monopoly on an anti-diuretic drug, which increases blood pressure in patients with vasodilatory shock, by increasing prices and preventing competitors from entering the market, which violates antitrust laws. On February 10, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey allowed the case to proceed by denying Par's motion to dismiss.
According to economic theory, monopolies stifle competition by disrupting the balance between supply and demand, which creates an unfair advantage for suppliers who raise prices for consumers. Recently this theory has been applied to the labor market. When monopolies limit the amount of choices in the job market, employees have little bargaining power in their wage or income. Antitrust laws are intended to protect the economy from monopolies.
In 2015, investors in Silver Wheaton Corporation ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") filed a securities fraud class action lawsuit against the Canadian company for concealing that the Company was facing a possible $207 million tax bill. Allegedly, Silver Wheaton failed to disclose the possibility of a tax reassessment by a Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") audit. Silver Wheaton disclosed that the CRA has accused the Company of failing to pay taxes on $560 million in taxable income from 2005 to 2010 by wrongly attributing that income to its subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, which does not tax foreign corporate profits. Investors allege the Company and its officials knew or should have known about the potential tax liabilities, and illegally hid the Company's true financial information in order to inflate stock prices.
Truly, it must seem to global auto manufacturer Volkswagen that it is under a perpetual rain cloud. As noted in a recent article discussing just the latest of the German company's problems, Volkswagen's troubles "would appear to be endless."
Trillions of dollars are paid out every year through government programs. With this much money passing hands, it can be difficult to track where all this money goes, which can provide the opportunity for fraud. Laws like the False Claims Act ("FCA") and the Whistleblower Protection Act ("WPA") were implemented to help protect the government and prevent and prosecute fraud. The FCA enables the government to prosecute individuals or organizations that have committed fraud, and the WPA protects employees from retaliation for uncovering and disclosing illegal behavior within an organization. The WPA also provides substantial compensation for those willing to bring forth evidence of fraud.