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GE Shareholders Secure Class Certification and Bolster Their Securities Fraud Claims

May 11, 2022

On April 11, 2022, The Honorable Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered an Opinion and Order in Sjunde AP-Fonden et al. v. General Electric Company et al., No. 1:17-CV-8457 certifying a class of investors that includes all persons and entities that purchased or acquired General Electric Company (“GE”) common stock between February 29, 2016, and January 23, 2018, inclusive (the “Class”). The Court appointed Lead Plaintiff Sjunde AP-Fonden (“AP7”) and The Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund as Class Representatives and Kessler Topaz as Class Counsel.

Importantly, the Opinion and Order also granted Plaintiffs permission to replead a claim arising from material misstatements that GE’s former Chief Financial Officer, Defendant Jeffrey S. Bornstein, made during a January 20, 2017 conference call. On that call, Bornstein downplayed the extent of GE’s reliance on receivable factoring to meet the Company’s cash flow targets, declaring that GE’s cash performance had “actually very little to do with GE Capital factoring.” While the Court had dismissed this claim on two prior occasions, Judge Furman’s Order sustained Plaintiffs’ proposed allegations of falsity and scienter—all of which were based on evidence they had uncovered during discovery—concluding that Plaintiffs now adequately pled Bornstein’s knowledge of GEs factoring programs and their substantial contributions to the Company’s reported cash flows during 2016. 

This additional claim bolsters what is already a strong case against Defendants heading into summary judgment.