Securities Litigation Cases
Representation of National Union and Starr Excess in an action brought by UnitedHealth Group, Inc., seeking coverage for a $350 million class action settlement, a case resulting in significant, precedent-setting insurance coverage decisions from the District of Minnesota. UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Columbia Cas. Co.
, 941 F.Supp.2d 1029 (D. Minn. 2013) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Columbia Cas. Co.
, 47 F.Supp.3d 863 (D. Minn. 2014).
Representation of a public corporation and its officers and outside directors in a securities fraud class action lawsuit involving allegations of accounting fraud, misrepresentations regarding the status and completion date of an IPO for a subsidiary of the corporation and other similar issues. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the class action complaint in a significant decision regarding the interpretation of the PSLRA and pleading requirements for a securities fraud action. In re: Navarre Securities Corporation Litigation,
299 F.3d 735 (D.Minn. 2000)
Representation of the former CEO of the Metris Companies, Inc., in In Re Metris Companies, Inc. Securities Litigation,
428 F.Supp.2d 1004 (D. Minn. 2006). This case involved a claim for several hundred million dollars in damages against Metris based on allegations that the company failed to disclose internal business problems which arose, in part, from a review and investigation by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The class action complaint alleged that CEO and the company were aware that Metris would not meet its earnings per share projections because of changes imposed on the company’s business operations by the OCC. It was alleged that the companies and its officers misled investors by making positive comments about the company and by failing to disclose negative information. This case also involved an investigation by the SEC and the OCC.
Representation of the former President and COO of NorthWestern Corporation, a South Dakota-based public utility, in In Re NorthWestern Corporation Securities Litigation
. This case involves allegations that NorthWestern Corporation and our COO client failed to disclose problems about the company’s internal computer system and associated problems with accounts receivables and accounts receivables aging. The complaint alleged that the company made misleading statements regarding earnings projections and failed to disclose, and indeed hid, negative information about serious problems in the operating results of and the business prospects for various subsidiaries of NorthWestern Corporation. See In Re NorthWestern Corporation Securities Litigation,
329 F.Supp.2d 1105 (D.SD 2004).
Representation of board members in Cohen v. Exp@nets, Inc.
, a class action securities fraud case involving alleged representations about an “imminent” IPO that induced owners of telecom companies to sell their businesses to Exp@nets. Exp@nets bought a series of small telecom companies as part of a business rollup model.
Representation of officers and directors of a corporation in a securities fraud action involving alleged failure to disclose financial problems in an acquired subsidiary.
Successful defense of the president of an investment adviser in an SEC action arising out of substantial losses in a $600,000,000 mutual fund that had invested heavily in derivative securities in In The Matter of Piper Capital Management, Inc., et al.
After a nine week trial, our client was the only defendant who was exonerated from wrongdoing and liability.
Representation of officers and directors of a public company alleged to have failed to disclose potential risks of future business expansion which involved the legal significance of cautionary language in offering documents disseminated to the investing public.
Representation of major accounting firms in litigation involving the failure to ascertain and disclose the financial condition of a public company in audited financial statements.
Representation of officers/employees of Ceridian Corporation in an SEC investigation involving restatement of financial statements and alleged failure to follow accounting rules in connection with various transactions, thereby inflating earnings.
Intellectual Property Litigation
3M Innovative Properties Company and Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company v. Avery Dennison Corporation,
Case Number 01-1781 JRT/FLN—This case involved a patent infringement action brought against Avery Dennison Corporation, Winthrop & Weinstine’s client, alleging infringement of a patent pertaining to the use of embossed webs as liners for pressure sensitive adhesives and other industrial applications, and which specifically involved a multiple embossed web used as a releasable storage liner for pressure sensitive adhesives for moving a pressure sensitive adhesive from one web to a substrate. This case was tried before a jury in the federal district court in Minnesota.
Hysitron Incorporated v. MTS Systems Corporation
, Case Number 07-1533 ADM/AJB—We defended MTS Systems in a patent infringement action in the field of nanomechanical testing devices. The patent in question related to an apparatus, a force sensor, used in conjunction with microindentation hardness testing and scanned-probe microscopes which generates a surface image of the topography of the sample subjected to microindentation.
DB Industries, Inc. d/b/a DBI SALA v. Alexander Andrew, Inc. and Custom Leathercraft Mfg. Co. d/b/a FallTech,
Case Number 05-2806 (JMR/FLN)—Winthrop & Weinstine represented the plaintiff, a leader in the fall safety protection industry, in this patent infringement action relating to the enforcement of a patent which covered several innovations for a safety harness used by workers who work at elevation. This matter was settled favorably for our client.
Travelers Express Company, Inc. v. Transaction Tracking Technologies, Inc.
, Case Number 03-2848 (DSD/JGL)—In this action Winthrop & Weinstine represented the defendant in a patent infringement action involving a series of patents pertaining to technology for dispensing money orders and which provided multiple levels of securities codes, network capabilities for centralized collection of transaction data and centralized control, and other anti-fraud and anti-tampering features used in connection with the issuance of money orders. This case was settled favorably for our client.
MTS Systems Corporation v. Hysitron Incorporated,
Case Number 06-3853 MJD/AJB—In this case Winthrop & Weinstine is bringing a patent infringement action on behalf of its client, MTS Systems, seeking to enforce its client’s patent which pertains to a dynamic tensile testing system that applies tensile loads to microfibers to measure and ascertain the mechanical properties of such fibers, including fibers with diameters of 1 to 60 microns. This case is presently pending in the federal district court for Minnesota.
Digital Angel Corporation v. Datamars, Inc.
, Case Number 04-4554 ADM/JSM—Winthrop & Weinstine represented the plaintiff in this patent infringement action involving a patent covering technology for a syringe implantable radio frequency identification device used for small animal identification. The case was settled favorably for our client.
Four Paws Products, Ltd. v. Royal Pet Incorporated
—U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. We represented Royal Pet Incorporated in a patent litigation matter involving pet waste retrieval/removal products. Four Paws brought a Motion for Preliminary Injunction against our client, Royal Pet Incorporated, which was denied by the Court.
Schaefer Fan Co., Inc. and Ronald E. Schaefer v. Universal Fog, Inc.,
Case Number 99-CV646 DWF/RLE—Winthrop & Weinstine successfully defended a patent infringement action on behalf of its client Universal Fog against a patent and a related consent judgment involving a spacing device designed to enhance safety for grills on a fan.
Miller Manufacturing Company, v. Royal Pet Inc.,
Case Number 05-2803 DWF/SRN—U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. We represented Royal Pet Incorporated in a patent litigation matter involving tools to pick up pet waste. Ultimately this case was settled between the parties.
WIMCO, LLC v. Lange Industries, Inc.,
Case Number 06-cv-03565 PJS/RLE—Winthrop & Weinstine brought a successful patent infringement action on behalf of its client, Wimco, to enforce a patent covering a sediment filtration device used in conjunction with storm sewer construction.
DB Industries (d/b/a DBI/SALA)—We have represented DB Industries in patent and trademark litigation for approximately 10 years. In the patent litigation field, we have commenced approximately nine patent infringement actions on behalf of DBI. DBI is a leader in the manufacture, sale and design of various safety products used in the construction industry. DBI has a large patent portfolio. Examples of our experience representing this client include the following:
- International Dodge Inc. v. DB Industries—We successfully defended this patent infringement action brought against our client and won a motion for summary judgment in federal court in New York.
- DBI v. Safewaze/MSA-Rose Manufacturing Company—We successfully prosecuted this action to enforce two DBI patents. Defendant asserted a patent infringement counterclaim. We successfully prosecuted this litigation which involved payment by the Defendant to DBI, cross-licensing rights, and certain other consideration.
- DBI v. Ultrasafe, Inc.—We successfully defended DBI’s patent rights in this case and the Defendant agreed to pay damages and stop selling the alleged infringing product.
- DBI v. Safewaze, Inc.—In this lawsuit we successfully defended another DBI patent. The litigation was resolved by the Defendant agreeing to pay damages to DBI and it further agreed to stop selling the alleged infringing product.
- DBI v. Sellstrom Manufacturing—This case is another example of the successful prosecution of a patent infringement action on behalf of DBI. The Defendant agreed to pay damages and stop manufacturing the alleged infringing product.
- DBI v. FallTech, Inc.—In this case we prosecuted a patent infringement action alleging infringement of three separate patents. The case was brought to a successful conclusion which involved payment of damages and modification of the alleged infringing product or the Defendant’s agreement to cease manufacture of the alleged infringing product.
- DBI v. Miller Manufacturing Co.—This case involves the defense of several DBI patents. We are currently in settlement negotiations.