Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

In re Signet Jewelers Ltd. Sec. Litig.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

November 26, 2018, Decided; November 26, 2018, Filed

No. 16 Civ. 6728 (CM)

Opinion

DECISION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS THE FIFTH AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

McMahon, C.J.:

This is a garden variety securities fraud suit.

Lead Plaintiff the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi ("MissPERS"), through its attorneys at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, brings this putative class action on behalf of all people who bought shares of Defendant Signet Jewelers Limited ("Signet") between August 29, 2013 and March 13, 2018 (the "Class Period").

Plaintiff alleges that Signet made two categories of false or misleading statements that induced Plaintiff and others similarly [*3]  situated to purchase Signet shares; when the truth became known, the value of Signet shares dropped precipitously, causing Plaintiff to suffer economic damage. See Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") § 10(b), 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b); 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. Plaintiff further alleges that certain Signet executives (the "Executive Defendants") controlled Signet and directly participated in its allegedly fraudulent conduct by virtue of their high-ranking positions. See Exchange Act § 20(a), 15 U.S.C. § 78t(a).

Defendants move to dismiss this action for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (Dkt. No. 112.)

For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is DENIED.

I. Background

The following facts are alleged in Plaintiff's Fifth Amended Class Action Complaint (the "FAC") or are contained in Defendant Signet's public disclosure documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").1

a. The Parties

MissPERS is a pension fund established for the benefit of current and retired public employees of the State of Mississippi. (FAC ¶ 31, Dkt. No. 111.) It allegedly purchased 150,756 shares of Signet securities between August 29, 2013 and May 24, 2017. (Silk Decl., Ex. B, Dkt. No. 70-2.)

Signet, the world's largest [*4]  retailer of diamond jewelry, is a publicly traded company that is incorporated in Bermuda and has its headquarters in Akron, Ohio. (Id. ¶ 32.) The company wholly owns Sterling Jewelers, Inc. ("Sterling") - through which it operates retail stores under the brand names Kay Jewelers ("Kay") and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry ("Jared") - and Zale Corporation, through which it operates retail stores under "Zales the Diamond Store" ("Zales"), among other brand names. (Id.)

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199809 *; 2018 WL 6167889

IN RE SIGNET JEWELERS LIMITED SECURITIES LITIGATION

Prior History: Dube v. Signet Jewelers Ltd., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57624 (S.D.N.Y., Apr. 14, 2017)

CORE TERMS

portfolio, allegations, Defendants', Jewelers, reserves, pleaded, misleading, disclosures, customers, Annual, declarations, motion to dismiss, employees, investor, analysts, subprime, bad debt, representations, scienter, sexual harassment, former employee, underwriting, omission, practices, filings, puffery, recency, sexual, stock, statement of opinion