S&C Wins Dismissal of Emissions-Related Claims for Fiat Chrysler in Securities Class Action

August 1, 2017

S&C had a victory last week for client Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) in a putative securities class action brought by investors. On August 1, Judge Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted FCA’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims regarding statements about FCA’s compliance with certain federal and state emissions regulations, and the existence of so-called “defeat devices,” holding that the plaintiffs did not allege particularized facts giving rise to a strong inference of scienter. The court rejected plaintiffs’ “vague” confidential witness allegations, because “[c]onspicuously absent” was any allegation that FCA officials received any communication that FCA vehicles were not in compliance with emissions regulations prior to any of the allegedly misleading statements. The allegations, Judge Furman ruled, do not show that FCA “actually possessed” knowledge that it was making any false statements.
S&C is currently representing FCA in responding to a number of lawsuits (class actions, individual actions and an action on behalf of the EPA), as well as regulatory investigations, related to alleged discrepancies in diesel emissions disclosures and strategies.
The S&C team representing FCA and the individual defendants is led by Bob Giuffra and William Monahan. Scott Miller also provided advice on the matter.