Class Action Lawsuit Accused Harman of Misleading Investors About the State of ‘Personal Navigation Devices’ Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorneys for national plaintiffs firm Cohen Milstein, lead counsel in a class action lawsuit against Harman International Industries (NYSE: HAR), announced today a $28.25 million settlement in a securities class action suit led by the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System (“APERS”), who had been appointed as Lead Plaintiff. The case was brought on behalf of a class of investors who purchased Harman stock between April 26, 2007 and February 5, 2008. The suit alleged that Harman repeatedly issued false and misleading statements about the state of its Personal Navigation Devices (“PND”) business, causing its common stock to trade at artificially inflated prices. Last month, Samsung Electronics announced that it had completed its acquisition of Harman International Industries.
“This settlement provides an excellent recovery for those who invested in Harman International stock nine years ago,” said Steven J. Toll, Co-Chair of Cohen Milstein’s Securities Fraud and Investor Protection practice and lead counsel for the plaintiff class. “We were pleased we were able to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court in June 2015 to reverse the dismissal of this action. The appeals court found that statements made by company officials did not include ‘meaningful cautionary language’ that would provide a so-called safe harbor from liability. The appeals court acknowledged that statements cannot be considered meaningful when the warnings relate to risks that have already occurred or are misleading — an important victory for investors.”
After the case was revived by the Court of Appeals, Harman unsuccessfully sought to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case and reinstate the dismissal of the case. On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider whether the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals improperly revived the lawsuit. Prior to reaching a settlement, the parties had been engaged in extensive discovery efforts and litigation over whether the class should be certified.
APERS Executive Director Gail Stone said, “On behalf of APERS and the class of investors we represent, I commend Cohen Milstein attorneys on their effective advocacy and perseverance to have achieved this result after a long, hard-fought litigation.”
Harman is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, high fidelity audio products and electronic systems for the automotive, consumer and professional markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The Company operated under the brands names Harman Kardon, JBL, Revel, Mark Levinson, Infinity, Lexicon, Soundcraft-Studer, AKG, Becker and QNX and it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country handling major, complex plaintiff-side litigation. With more than 90 attorneys, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Ill., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., and Raleigh, N.C. For additional information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com or call 202.408.4600.