Davis Polk is representing J.P. Morgan in a state securities fraud litigation pending in Florida state court. On Friday, June 9, 2017, we won a complete reversal of the trial court’s grant of summary judgment against our client under the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act (“FSIPA”). The appeals court also reversed the denial of J.P. Morgan’s motion to dismiss claims against two J.P. Morgan employees in their individual capacities. In reversing the lower court’s summary judgment ruling, the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal agreed with J.P. Morgan that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants in the case made any material misstatement or omission in connection with plaintiff’s decision to invest in a manufacturer of LED light products.
The appeals court also agreed that there are disputed questions of material fact over whether or not plaintiff relied on any of the alleged misstatements or omissions in making its decision to invest. The court concluded that “a reasonable juror could infer” that the alleged accounting error at issue “would not be a material misrepresentation to a reasonable investor,” and that “a jury could determine that [Plaintiff] conducted an independent assessment” of the company before investing that did not rely on the particular historical figures in dispute. The court also held that “the trial court erred in denying J.P. Morgan’s motion to dismiss [Plaintiff’s] claim” against two employees of J.P. Morgan, ruling that the plaintiff “failed to allege facts that would establish that [the employees] were agents” of the defendant lighting company as required to be liable under FSIPA.
The court remanded the case with orders to reverse the entry of summary judgment and dismiss the FSIPA claims against the individual J.P. Morgan employees.
The Davis Polk litigation team includes partners Amelia T.R. Starr, James I. McClammy and Charles S. Duggan, and associates Christopher Ratcliffe Le Coney, J. Stan Barrett, Adam Balin, Benjamin Morris-Levenson, Anne R. Yearwood and Trishna Velamoor. All members of the Davis Polk team are based in the New York office.