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Delaware Chancery Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Fitbit Inc. Insider Trading Case

In re Fitbit, Inc. Stockholder Derivative Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 2017-0402-JRS (Del. Ch.).  On December 14, 2018, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Chancery Court rejected a motion to dismiss a stockholder derivative suit alleging insider trading and breach of fiduciary duty claims against executive officers and directors of Fitbit, Inc. (“Fitbit”).  The lawsuit, in which Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (“KSF”) serves as co-lead counsel, alleges that certain insiders made $385 million in stock sales in the company’s initial public offering and—after agreeing to release the insiders from lock-up agreements that barred them from trading for 180 days after the initial public offering—an early secondary offering, taking take advantage of an artificially positive market response to Fitbit’s flagship PurePulse heartrate monitoring technology.  Vice Chancellor Slights held that the plaintiffs’ complaint—bolstered by internal company documents obtained by KSF and its co-counsel—reasonably alleges that, while Fitbit was actively promoting its PurePulse technology, the company internally was struggling to correct and contain news about serious problems with the accurate functioning of their devices containing PurePulse.  In the opinion, Vice Chancellor Slights further held that the complain adequately pled that the directors and officers who sold stock traded on inside information, and “designed the secondary offering to accommodate sellers’ interests.”