The First Department determined plaintiffs, who purchased securities based upon allegedly inaccurate information in defendants’ secondary public offering (SPO), stated causes of action for violations of the Securities Act. The court noted that the heightened pleading requirements of CPLR 3015(b) do not apply to the Securities Act violations alleged in the complaint:
… [C]laims for violations of sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 USC §§ 77k, 77l[a], and 77o) are not subject to the heightened pleading requirements of CPLR 3016(b) … .
… [T]he alleged misstatements in the SPO cannot be deemed forward-looking or mere puffery as a matter of law because the complaint alleges that defendants knew at the time of the SPO that present facts rendered statements in the SPO misleading or false. The generic, boilerplate risk warnings in the offering documents do not shield defendants from liability … .
… [P]laintiff adequately]alleges that, once [defendant] spoke about its “significant exposure to emerging markets in Asia,” it was obligated to disclose the “whole truth,” namely that its mobile solutions business in China was actually experiencing a sharp decline at the time of the SPO … . Erie County Empls.’ Retirement Sys. v NN, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 03473, First Dept 5-31-22
Practice Point: The heightened pleading requirements for fraud (CPLR 3016) do not apply to the causes of action here alleging violations of the Securities Act—allegedly misleading information in a secondary public offering (SPO).