Case View

ABBOTT LABORATORIES SHAREHOLDERS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER THEIR INVESTMENT LOSSES

Abbott Laboratories

Bernstein Liebhard LLP announces that a securities class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased or acquired Abbott Laboratories (“Abbott” or the “Company”) (NYSE: ABT) common stock between February 19, 2021 and June 8, 2022, inclusive. The lawsuit seeks to recover Abbott shareholders’ investment losses.

If you purchased common stock in Abbott Laboratories between February 19, 2021 and June 8, 2022, inclusive, and would like to discuss your legal rights and/or options, please click “Join Class Action” above.

Abbott provides a broad line of health care products, including various forms of infant formula such as Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.  Prior to February 2022, Abbott had produced 40% of the United States’ infant formula.  Of that amount, approximately 40% of Abbott’s formula was produced in its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan (“Sturgis”).

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants made misrepresentations concerning the safety and saleability of Abbott’s infant formula amid the multiple violations of federal and state health and safety regulations at the Company’s Sturgis facility.

On February 17, 2022, the Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it was investigating four consumer complaints of infant illness related to powdered infant formula produced by Abbott in Sturgis.  The FDA stated that it had initiated an onsite inspection at the facility, and to date had found several positive contamination results from environmental samples for a bacteria, Cronobacter sakazakii (“Cronobacter”), which is linked to infant illnesses and death.

On the same day, Abbott issued a recall of certain infant formula products, including the popular brands Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, all manufactured in Sturgis.  Abbott made no mention of the open FDA investigation.  On this news, the price of Abbott common stock declined $3.79 per share, closing at $116.79 per share on February 18, 2022.

On March 22, 2022, after the markets closed, the FDA released reports from its three inspections of the Sturgis facility conducted in September 2019, September 2021 and, most recently, between January 31, 2022 and March 18, 2022.  The FDA stated that these reports “do not constitute final FDA determinations” of specific violations, but highlighted that during its most recent inspection (a) Abbott failed to establish process controls “designed to ensure that infant formula does not become adulterated due to the presence of microorganisms in the formula or in the processing environment” and (b) Abbott failed to “ensure that all surfaces that contacted infant formula were maintained to protect infant formula from being contaminated by any source.” On the news of these damaging inspection reports, Abbott’s stock price dropped $4.97 per share, closing at $116.92 per share on March 23, 2022.

As the FDA investigation continued, a redacted copy of a whistleblower complaint sent to the FDA in October 2021 was made public on April 22, 2022.  The whistleblower complaint revealed that the issues disclosed in February and March 2022 were actually known to Abbott’s management far earlier.  The whistleblower complaint identified numerous serious examples of misconduct by Abbott management at Sturgis, including the falsification of testing records, the release of untested infant formula to the market, efforts to mislead the FDA during its 2019 inspection audit, the continuation of known deficient testing procedures, and an inability to trace products to properly implement recalls of affected pallets of formula.  Upon release of the whistleblower complaint, Abbott’s stock price fell again, closing at $113.50 per share on April 29, 2022.

On June 8, 2022, investors learned that Abbott was aware of the whistleblower’s formal allegations in February 2021.  Abbott’s stock price dropped yet again, falling $4.17 per share, or 3.5%, to close at $112.71 per share on June 9, 2022.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than October 31, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Your ability to share in any recovery does not require that you serve as lead plaintiff. If you choose to take no action, you may remain an absent class member.

Since 1993, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients. In addition to representing individual investors, the Firm has been retained by some of the largest public and private pension funds in the country to monitor their assets and pursue litigation on their behalf. As a result of its success litigating hundreds of lawsuits and class actions, the Firm has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” thirteen times and listed in The Legal 500 for ten consecutive years.

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Contact Information:

Peter Allocco
Bernstein Liebhard LLP
https://www.bernlieb.com
(212) 951-2030

pallocco@bernlieb.com