NEW YORK, March 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Beyond Meat, Inc. (“Beyond Meat” or the “Company”) (BYND) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California, and indexed under 20-cv-00963, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired Beyond Meat securities between May 2, 2019 and January 27, 2020, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.
If you are a shareholder who purchased Beyond Meat securities during the class period, you have until March 30, 2020, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
Beyond Meat is a food company that provides plant-based meats. It offers its products in the meat platforms of beef, pork, and poultry. The Company sells its products to various customers in the retail and foodservice channels through brokers and distributors in the U.S. and internationally.
Don Lee Farms (“Don Lee”) is a maker of plant-based and meat proteins. In 2014, Beyond Meat entered into an exclusive supply agreement with Don Lee to produce all of Beyond Meat’s products, including the development and launch of the Company’s popular Beyond Burger.
In early 2017, following the launch of the Beyond Burger, Beyond Meat terminated the Supply Agreement and transferred its production from Don Lee to other food manufacturers.
On May 25, 2017, Don Lee filed a complaint against Beyond Meat in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles asserting claims for, inter alia, breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition, seeking monetary damages and declaratory and injunctive relief.
Don Lee’s initial lawsuit spawned other related legal proceedings, including related claims by Don Lee against one of Beyond Meat’s new manufacturing partners, ProPortion Foods, LLC (“Proportion”), and cross-complaints by both Beyond Meat and ProPortion against Don Lee (collectively with Don Lee’s initial lawsuit, the “Don Lee Litigation”).
As the litigation progressed, Don Lee further alleged that Beyond Meat had employed lax food safety practices during the two companies’ partnership, specifically alleging, inter alia, that Don Lee found plastics, cardboard and a metal nozzle in ingredients that Beyond Meat supplied and that a Beyond Meat truck had arrived at a Don Lee processing facility with a load contaminated with an unidentified white powder. Don Lee alleged that Beyond Meat had provided an altered copy of a food-safety audit of its manufacturing facilities, and on that basis added fraud claims to its suit against Beyond Meat in March 2019.
Beyond Meat has consistently denied the merits of Don Lee’s claims.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Beyond Meat’s termination of its supply agreement with Don Lee constituted a breach of that agreement, thus exposing the Company to foreseeable legal liability and reputational harm; (ii) Beyond Meat and certain of its employees had doctored and omitted material information from a food safety consultant’s report, which the Company represented as accurate to Don Lee; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On January 27, 2020, post-market, Don Lee issued a press release entitled “Judge Rules Don Lee Farms Likely to Obtain a Judgment. Beyond Meat’s CFO and Others Named Individually for Fraud.” The press release stated, in part, that “[a] judge has ruled Don Lee Farms proved the probable validity of its claim that Beyond Meat breached its manufacturing agreement with Don Lee Farms” and that “[i]n a separate motion before a different Judge, the Court granted Don Lee Farms’ request to name Beyond Meat Chief Financial Officer Mark Nelson, Senior Quality Assurance Manager Jessica Quetsch and Director of Operations Anthony Miller in its fraud claims which allege they intentionally doctored and omitted material information from a food safety consultant’s report, and then delivered that doctored report to Don Lee Farms and affirmatively represented that it was the complete opinion of the consultant.”
On this news, Beyond Meat’s stock price fell $4.63 per share, or 3.71%, to close at $120.12 per share on January 28, 2020.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby