RM LAW, P.C. announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased Abbott Laboratories ( NYSE: ABT) securities during the period from February 19, 2021, through June 8, 2022, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Abbott shareholders may, no later than October 31, 2022, move the Court for appointment as a lead plaintiff of the Class. If you purchased shares of Abbott and would like to learn more about these claims or if you wish to discuss these matters and have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights, contact Richard A. Maniskas, Esquire toll-free at (844) 291-9299 or to sign up online, click here.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants put profitability ahead of children’s safety. During the Class Period, Abbott Laboratories engaged in a scheme to maximize revenues and inflate its stock price while disregarding and then concealing lapses in safety protocols that ultimately were linked to serious infant illnesses and even deaths.
On February 17, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it was investigating four consumer complaints of infant illness related to powdered infant formula produced by Abbott Laboratories in Sturgis. The FDA stated that it had initiated an onsite inspection at the facility, and to date had found several positive contamination results from environmental samples for a bacteria, Cronobacter sakazakii (“Cronobacter”), linked to infant illnesses and death. On the same day, Abbott Laboratories issued a recall of certain infant formula products, including the popular brands Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, all manufactured in Sturgis. On this news, the price of Abbott Laboratories common stock declined by more than 3%.
Then, on March 22, 2022, the FDA released reports from its three inspections of the Sturgis facility conducted in September 2019, September 2021, and, most recently, between January 31, 2022 and March 18, 2022. The FDA stated that these reports “do not constitute final FDA determinations” of specific violations, but highlighted that during its most recent inspection that (a) Abbott failed to establish process controls “designed to ensure that infant formula does not become adulterated due to the presence of microorganisms in the formula or in the processing environment” and (b) Abbott failed to “ensure that all surfaces that contacted infant formula were maintained to protect infant formula from being contaminated by any source.” On this news, Abbott Laboratories’ stock price fell by an additional 4%.
On April 28, 2022, the FDA released a redacted copy of a whistleblower complaint sent to the FDA in October 2021, revealing that the issues disclosed in February and March 2022 were actually known to Abbott Laboratories’ management far earlier. The whistleblower complaint identified numerous serious examples of misconduct by Abbott Laboratories management at Sturgis, including the falsification of testing records, the release of untested infant formula to the market, efforts to mislead the FDA during its 2019 inspection audit, the continuation of known deficient testing procedures, and an inability to trace products to properly implement recalls of affected pallets of formula. On this news, Abbott Laboratories’ stock price fell nearly 4%.
Finally, on June 8, 2022, investors learned that Abbott Laboratories was aware of the whistleblower’s formal allegations in early 2021, when it was reported that the FDA whistleblower had filed a complaint in February 2021 with the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”), and that OSHA delivered that complaint to Abbott Laboratories and the FDA during the same month. On this news, Abbott Laboratories’ stock price fell by an additional 3.5%, further damaging investors.
If you are a member of the class, you may, no later than October 31, 2022, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff of the class. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as “lead plaintiff.” Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain RM LAW, P.C. or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.