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Helen J. Bass

Associate

D   610.822.0268
F   610.667.7056

Helen graduated from Stanford Law School in 2021. While in law school, Helen was a member of the Environmental Pro Bono project and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties.

Experience

Current Cases

  •   CASE CAPTION                       Delaware County Employees Retirement System, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, et al.
      COURT  United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
      CASE NUMBER 21-cv-02045
      JUDGE Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal
      PLAINTIFF Delaware County Employees Retirement System; Iron Workers District Council (Philadelphia & Vicinity) Retirement and Pension Plan
      DEFENDANTS Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (“Cabot” or the “Company”), Dan O. Dinges, Scott C. Schroeder, and Phil L. Stalnaker
      CLASS PERIOD February 22, 2016 through June 12, 2020, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of Defendants’ representations and omissions regarding Cabot’s legal compliance, polluting activities and risk.  During the Class Period, Cabot touted its compliance with applicable environmental laws and being a good steward of the environment. Unbeknownst to investors, Cabot’s environmental infractions were so extreme that after a lengthy grand jury investigation Pennsylvania charged Cabot with fifteen crimes, including nine felonies.

    Plaintiffs filed a 102-page complaint in April 2021 on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Cabot and its CEO Dan O. Dinges, CFO Scott C. Schroeder, and Senior Vice President Phil L. Stalnaker, violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements and concealing material facts about the Company’s ongoing violations of environmental laws and polluting of Pennsylvania’s waters. As alleged, following revelations about Cabot’s legal compliance and subsequent criminal charges, Cabot’s stock price fell precipitously, causing significant losses and damages to the Company’s investors. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on February 11, 2022.

    On August 10, 2022, the Court sustained Plaintiffs’ claims based on allegations that Cabot made false and misleading statements about its efforts to resolve and remediate environmental violations noticed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Cabot’s wells, and affirmatively misled investors about the status of Cabot’s compliance with environmental laws and local regulatory authorities.

    Read Consolidated Complaint Here

    Read Amended Complaint Here

  • CASE CAPTION             Courter, et al. v. CytoDyn, Inc., et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
    CASE NUMBER C21-5190 BHS
    JUDGE Honorable Benjamin H. Settle
    PLAINTIFF Court-appointed Lead Plaintiff Brian Joe Courter and Courter and Sons LLC, and Additional Plaintiffs Diane M. Hooper, Thomas McGee and Candra E. Evans
    DEFENDANTS CytoDyn, Inc. Nader Z. Pourhassan, Michael Mulholland, and Scott A. Kelly
    CLASS PERIOD March 27, 2020 and May 17, 2021, inclusive 

    This securities fraud class action arises out of Defendants’ public conduct and misrepresentations concerning CytoDyn’s only prospective drug, leronlimab, during 2020-2021.  Defendants’ fraudulent misconduct came in several forms:  materially false and misleading statements concerning CytoDyn’s application to the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the use of leronlimab to treat HIV; material misstatements concerning purported data and information showing leronlimab’s safety and efficacy as a treatment for COVID-19; and Defendants’ scheme to directly and indirectly promote leronlimab’s promise as a COVID-19 treatment and thus pump up CytoDyn’s common stock price, after which Defendants “dumped,” or rapidly sold, millions of dollars’ worth of their personally-held shares at inflated prices.

    Adverse facts known to Defendants, but concealed from investors throughout the Class Period, showed that CytoDyn’s data regarding leronlimab was nowhere near sufficient to support an application for regulatory approval of the drug for HIV indications, nor to support claims that leronlimab was efficacious in treating any type of COVID-19 patient.  Indeed, at the end of the Class Period and afterwards, Defendants received communications from the FDA and/or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) indicating that Defendants’ public representations touting leronlimab and its potential FDA approval and COVID-19 application were not supported by data and accepted analyses.  The truth regarding Defendants’ misrepresentations came onto the market in a set of disclosures in 2020 and 2021 that led to sharp declines in CytoDyn’s stock price, causing significant losses and damages to the Company’s investors.  On July 30, 2021, CytoDyn disclosed that it was being investigated by both the SEC and the United States Department of Justice.

    Plaintiffs successfully moved to modify the automatic discovery stay under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and received documents from Defendants starting in early 2022, before any motion to dismiss was adjudicated.  On June 24, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a 228-page amended complaint, under seal, on behalf of a putative class of investors against CytoDyn and its executives, including CEO Nader Pourhassan, CFO Michael Mulholland, and CMO Scott A. Kelly.  Plaintiffs claim Defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements and concealing material facts about CytoDyn’s data and regulatory actions and prospects concerning the investigational drug leronlimab, and engaging in a fraudulent promotional scheme regarding the same.  Plaintiffs also claim Defendants Pourhassan, Mulholland and Kelly are liable as control persons of CytoDyn under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and that they violated Section 20A of the Exchange Act by selling personally held shares of CytoDyn common stock while aware of material nonpublic information concerning leronlimab.  Defendants’ deadline to file a motion to dismiss or answer is August 23, 2022.

    Read Amended Class Action Complaint Here

  • CASE CAPTION            In re re Kraft Heinz Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    CASE NUMBER 1:19-cv-01339
    JUDGE Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr.
    PLAINTIFF Union Asset Management Holding AG, Sjunde Ap-Fonden, and Booker Enterprises Pty Ltd.
    DEFENDANTS The Kraft Heinz Company (“Kraft” or the “Company”), 3G Capital Partners, 3G Capital, Inc., 3G Global Food Holdings, L.P., 3G Global Food Holdings GP LP, 3G Capital Partners LP, 3G Capital Partners II LP, 3G Capital Partners Ltd., Bernardo Hees, Paulo Basilio, David Knopf, Alexandre Behring, George Zoghbi, and Rafael Oliveira
    CLASS PERIOD November 5, 2015 through August 7, 2019, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out Defendants’ misstatements regarding the Company’s financial position, including the carrying value of Kraft Heinz’s assets, the sustainability of the Company’s margins, and the success of recent cost-cutting strategies by Kraft Heinz.

    Kraft Heinz is one of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer and produces well-known brands including Kraft, Heinz, Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Maxwell House, and Velveeta. The Company was formed as the result of the 2015 merger between Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation. That merger was orchestrated by the private equity firm 3G Capital (“3G”) and Berkshire Hathaway with the intention of wringing out excess costs from the legacy companies. 3G is particularly well-known for its strategy of buying mature companies with relatively slower growth and then cutting costs using “zero-based budgeting,” in which the budget for every expenditure begins at $0 with increases being justified during every period.

    Plaintiffs allege that Kraft misrepresented the carrying value of its assets, sustainability of its margins, and the success of the Company’s cost-cutting strategy in the wake of the 2015 merger. During the time that Kraft was making these misrepresentations and artificially inflating its stock price, Kraft’s private equity sponsor, 3G Capital, sold $1.2 billion worth of Kraft stock.

    On February 21, 2019, Kraft announced that it was forced to take a goodwill charge of $15.4 billion to write-down the value of the Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands—one of the largest goodwill impairment charges taken by any company since the financial crisis. In connection with the charge, Kraft also announced that it would cut its dividend by 36% and incur a $12.6 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2018. That loss was driven not only by Kraft’s write-down, but also by plunging margins and lower pricing throughout Kraft’s core business. In response, analysts immediately criticized the Company for concealing and “push[ing] forward” the “bad news” and characterized the Company’s industry-leading margins as a “façade.”

    Heightening investor concerns, Kraft also revealed that it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the same quarter it determined to take this write-down and was conducting an internal investigation relating to the Company’s side-agreements with vendors in its procurement division. Because of this subpoena and internal investigation, Kraft was also forced to take a separate $25 million charge relating to its accounting practices. Plaintiffs allege that because of the Company’s misrepresentations, the price of Kraft’s shares traded at artificially-inflated levels during the Class Period.

    On August 11, 2021, The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr. sustained Plaintiffs’ complaint. The case is now in discovery.  In March 2022, Plaintiffs moved for class certification.  

    Read Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Opinion and Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Here

    Read Motion for Class Certification Here