Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) Investor Securities Class Action Lawsuit 10/02/2019

If you purchased a significant amount of shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) between December 20, 2018 and September 24, 2019, and / or if you purchased any NYSE: MO shares prior to December 2018 and continue to hold any of those shares, you have certain options and for certain investors are short and strict deadlines running. Deadline: December 2, 2019. NYSE: MO investors should contact the Shareholders Foundation, Inc.

To have your information reviewed for options and to recieve notifications about this case, please use this form. You may also send an email to mail@shareholdersfoundation.com, or call us at (858) 779-1554.
Company Name(s): 
Altria Group
Case Name: 
Altria Group Shareholder Class Action Lawsuit 10/02/2019
Case Status: 
Lawsuit Filed
Affected Securities
NYSE: MO
Lawsuit Overview
Type of Lawsuit: 
Shareholder Class Action
Date Filed: 
10/02/2019
Class Period Begin: 
12/20/2018
Class Period End: 
09/24/2019
Court of Filing: 
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Deadline To File for Lead: 
12/02/2019
Summary: 

An investor in shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York over alleged violations of Federal Securities Laws by Altria Group, Inc. in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements made between December 20, 2018 and September 24, 2019.

Richmond, VA based Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States.
On December 20, 2018, Altria Group, Inc announced that it had signed and closed a $12.8 billion investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. (“JUUL”), the purported U.S. leader in electronic vapor (colloquially called “e-vapor”) products, including e-cigarettes. According to the announcement the service agreements related to the transaction would accelerate JUUL’s mission to switch adult smokers to e-vapor products. Altria’s investment represented a 35% economic interest in JUUL, valuing the company at $38 billion, with JUUL purportedly remaining fully independent.
On April 3, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced its investigation into nearly three dozen cases of people suffering from seizures after “vaping” (the act of consuming e-vapor products through inhalation). Between 2010 and 2019, the FDA said it received thirty-five reports of people, especially children and young adults, experiencing seizures after using e-cigarettes.

On August 29, 2019, it was reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) was investigating whether JUUL used influencers and other marketing practices to appeal e-cigarettes to minors.

On August 30, 2019, both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced that they were collaborating to investigate e-cigarette related cases of illnesses and “working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory disease associated with use of e-cigarette products.”
On September 11, 2019, news sources reported that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was preparing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes as federal agencies probed an outbreak of a lung problem that killed at least six people and reportedly led to the sickness of hundreds of others. President Trump and U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar reportedly both confirmed that a ban is possible after the vaping issues are investigated.

On September 12, 2019, during after-market hours, it was reported that, “[w]ithin weeks, New Jersey could become the latest state to restrict e-cigarette use, with the governor on Thursday launching a task force to find ways to curb vaping, linked by U.S. health officials to hundreds of respiratory illnesses and a half-dozen deaths.” Additionally, that same day, the CDC reported that as of September 11, 2019, 380 confirmed cases, and probably cases of lung disease associated with vaping, had been reported by thirty-six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with six total deaths confirmed in six states.

On September 24, 2019, it was reported that Philip Morris International had called off talks of a $200bn merger with Altria Group, Inc likely due to increasing public and governmental scrutiny of vaping and Altria’s partial ownership of industry-leading Juul Labs. Government investigations of Altria Group, Inc., focus on whether Altria Group / JUUL misled the public with respect to the safety of its e-cigarettes and whether they actively marketed these devices to minors.

Shares of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) declined from $77.29 per share in June 2017 to as low as $39.30 per share on September 19, 2019.

According to the complaint the plaintiff alleges on behalf of purchasers of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) common shares between December 20, 2018 and September 24, 2019, that the defendants violated Federal Securities Laws.

More specifically, the plaintiff claims that between December 20, 2018 and September 24, 2019, the Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that Altria Group, Inc had conducted insufficient due diligence into JUUL prior to the Company’s $12.8 billion investment, or 35% stake, in JUUL, that Altria Group, Inc consequently failed to inform investors, or account for, material risks associated with JUUL’s products and marketing practices, and the true value of JUUL and its products, that all of the foregoing, as well as mounting public scrutiny, negative publicity, and governmental pressure on e-vapor products and JUUL made it reasonably likely that Altria’s investment in JUUL would have a material negative impact on the Company’s reputation and operations, and that as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.