February 29, 2016

On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Harman International Industries, Inc.'s petition for writ of certiorari, declining to consider whether the D.C. Circuit improperly revived a securities class action alleging that defendants omitted or misrepresented material adverse facts about the Company’s financial condition, business prospects, and revenue expectations.

The Supreme Court's order keeps intact the D.C. Circuit's June 2015 decision which determined the scope of protection afforded by the so-called “safe-harbor” for forward-looking statements in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995.  The D.C. Circuit held that cautionary statements are not “meaningful,” when, as in the case of certain of Harman’s cautionary statements, they warn against risks that have already transpired or are misleading in light of historical facts. This holding is a significant win for investors, since it means that defendants cannot invoke the protection of the PSLRA’s safe harbor when, despite boilerplate cautionary language, their statements nonetheless mislead investors.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC serves as lead counsel for the lead plaintiff, the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.

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