According to official Bucks figures, the county lost more than $ 800,000 on Tuesday to investing in a Malvern-based pharmaceutical company and is now looking to lead a class action lawsuit against the company for securities fraud.
Court documents filed on Tuesday request U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson to appoint the Bucks County Employees Retirement Fund as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Endo International PLC.
The county claims the company engaged in “inherently risky and unstable generic pricing practices” and other fraudulent acts to mislead the county and other investors.
“Given our losses, the Eastern Pennsylvania venue, and the board’s commitment to fighting fraud, Bucks is the natural choice to lead this fight,” said Joe Kahn, Bucks County attorney, Tuesday.
Bucks County had previously bought 25,417 shares of Endo and ended up losing an estimated $ 811,000.
The original class action filing dates back to 2017 with the Chicago Park Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund as the lead plaintiff.
Neither Tuesday’s court record nor a Bucks County press release gives the detailed timeline of the case up to that point.
However, the press release alleges that the loss of the county’s pension fund is currently “the biggest of all plaintiffs.”
“Bucks County has a strong interest in holding Endo responsible for the damage its generic pricing practices have done to the pension fund, our fellow shareholders, and the community at large,” said County Controller Neale Dougherty, secretary of Bucks County Employees Retirement System board said.
A number of individuals and organizations similar to the county’s pension fund are included as plaintiffs in the original court record.
The county press release claims total estimated losses are hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Pension Fund’s securities lawsuit follows an earlier lawsuit filed on behalf of the County of Bucks against affiliated endo companies and other pharmaceutical companies for alleged wrongdoing in sparking a statewide opioid epidemic. This litigation is pending in the Pennsylvania State Court.
If the county is named lead counsel, court documents indicate that the county would work with attorneys from the outside law firms Saxton & Stump and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP.
Robbins Geller, a 200-strong law firm, allegedly reclaimed more than $ 2.5 billion in damages for investors in multiple class action lawsuits, court documents said.