BOSTON, February 24, 2017: A Morgan Lewis team led by partner Jordan Hershman, leader of the firm’s securities litigation practice, pressured counsel representing a putative class of shareholders of Abeona Therapeutics Inc., a leading clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing gene therapies for life-threatening rare genetic diseases, voluntarily to dismiss a securities fraud class action that they filed against Abeona and two of its officers in the Southern District of New York.
Plaintiffs and their counsel in Reilly v. Abeona Therapeutics Inc., et. al. had cut and pasted their Complaint from an internet blog article written by an anonymous short seller just days before the Complaint was filed, an approach that has been used in several other similar cases by plaintiffs’ class action lawyers, and one that gives rise to serious concerns. On February 13, 2017, the Morgan Lewis team sent a letter to Plaintiffs’ counsel explaining in detail the reasons that Plaintiffs’ claims lacked a valid legal basis and demanding that, if Plaintiffs did not drop their case within one week, the Morgan Lewis team would press the Court for the imposition of sanctions against Plaintiffs and their counsel under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. The very next day, Plaintiffs’ counsel voluntarily dismissed their case.
“We are gratified to have brought about the prompt dismissal of this meritless case just two months after it began, as it should never have been filed at all,” said Mr. Hershman.
Members of the Morgan Lewis team included partner Michael Blanchard and associate Christopher Wasil.