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Coronavirus Implications For Securities Litigation

Firm Memoranda

The coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 and a related oil price war have delivered a one-two punch to global markets, sending stocks plunging in the largest point fall ever for major indices. As of March 27, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped more than 7,914 points (over 26%) in a matter of weeks, and the future of any investment remains uncertain.

Hundreds of public companies have already issued statements about the effect of COVID-19 on their earnings and other business metrics, and many have downgraded prior forecasts as COVID-19 spreads and yet more customers, supply chains, and work environments are affected.

Where markets crash, litigation follows. We anticipate an increase in securities litigation, driven by COVID-19-related losses, in the coming months and years. Although the spread of COVID-19 is an unusual and unexpected event, the usual legal standards for securities litigation will apply. Thus, although only a handful of such cases have been filed at this early stage of the outbreak, SEC guidance and existing caselaw provide insight into the types of securities cases we expect to see in the future.

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Harry A. Olivar, Jr.
Email: harryolivar@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (213) 443-3176

Julia M. Beskin
Email: juliabeskin@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (212) 849-7482

Danielle Shrader-Frechette
Email: daniellefrechett@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (213) 443-3710

Jesse Bernstein
Email: jessebernstein@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (212) 849-7036

Mike Lyle
Email: mikelyle@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (202) 538-8166

Karl Stern
Email: karlstern@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (713) 221-7171

Jonathan Bunge
Email: jonathanbunge@quinnemanuel.com
Phone: (312) 705-7476