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Verizon Communications, Inc.

CASE CAPTION                General Retirement System of the City of Detroit v. Verizon Communications, Inc., et. al.
COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
CASE NUMBER 3:23-cv-05218-RK-RLS
JUDGE Honorable Robert Kirsch
PLAINTIFFS Stichting Pensioenfonds Metaal en Techniek; Stichting PME Pensioenfonds; Stichting Mn Services Aandelenfonds Noord-Amerika; AkademikerPension; E. Öhman J:or Fonder AB; Storebrand Asset Management AS
DEFENDANTS Verizon Communications, Inc.; Hans Vestberg; Matthew Ellis; Kyle Malady; James Gowan; Anthony Skiadas
CLASS PERIOD October 30, 2018 to July 26, 2023, inclusive

This securities fraud class action arises out of representations and omissions made by Verizon Communications, Inc. (“Verizon” or “the Company”) and its senior executives concerning material risks facing the Company due to its ownership of toxic lead-sheathed cables.

Verizon is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world. For decades, largely outside the public view, Verizon has owned a massive, decaying web of cables sheathed with lead, a toxic contaminant that is closely regulated as it presents significant health and environmental protection risks. As Lead Plaintiffs allege, Verizon has abandoned many of these lead-sheathed cables in place while transitioning its service lines to fiberoptics. Verizon has known of the risks associated with its decaying lead network for years, and throughout the Class Period, faced mounting evidence that its lead-sheathed cables were harming its employees and the public, and that the true extent of its sprawling lead-sheathed cable network and related potential financial liabilities would be revealed. Despite this reality, Defendants misled investors about the enormous risks associated with Verizon’s lead-sheathed cabling network.

Investors learned the true extent of Verizon’s lead-sheathed cable problem through a series of investigative reports published by the Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) in July 2023. The WSJ revealed to investors, among other things: (i) that the Company owned likely thousands of miles of abandoned lead-sheathed cables spanning the Northeast United States; (ii) that environmental testing revealed that lead was leaching into the environment at these sites; (iii) that state and federal regulators and the Department of Justice have initiated investigations; and (iv) that former lineworkers who were exposed to lead cables were now suffering from lead toxicity. In response to the WSJ’s reporting, Verizon’s stock fell dramatically, wiping out billions in market capitalization.

On January 22, 2024, Lead Plaintiffs filed the operative 169-page complaint on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The parties are currently engaged in briefing on Defendants’ motion to dismiss.

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