The original complaint alleges that on January 23, 2009, the Company's Chairman and CEO stated unequivocally that GE would maintain its quarterly $.31 per share dividend, having sufficient cash on hand and cash flow to achieve that goal. Then on February 27, 2009, GE suddenly announced it was cutting the dividend to $.10 per share. On the first trading day after the dividend reduction announcement, GE shares fell from $8.51 per share the previous trading day to close at $7.60 per share. The shares have continued to plummet, currently trading at $6.30 per share, an almost 30% plunge. During the Class Period, the CEO sold over 52,000 shares of GE stock at $11.10 per share and other officers of the Company sold over 380,000 shares at that same price. The CEO then repurchased 50,000 shares after the announcement at between $7.51 and $8.30 per share. As a result, the CEO and the other officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false and misleading statements or knowingly or recklessly failing to know of those statements, sold GE shares at inflated prices based on those statements.
According to an article dated July 30, 2009, a federal judge has ordered the consolidation of seven securities class actions against General Electric Co. that allege the multinational conglomerate misled investors about the health of its financial services subsidiary and its ability to continue paying substantial stock dividends. In his order Wednesday, Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York also appointed the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, to serve as lead plaintiff in the shareholder litigation. … He also approved SURS' choice of lead counsel — Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo — and liaison counsel, Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart PC.
On August 19, 2009, Judge Denny Chin signed the Order consolidating several actions under Master file, In re General Electric Co. Sec. Litig. Civ. No. 09-CIV-3787 (DC). An amended consolidation order was entered in the Court on August 31, 2009. On October 2, 2009, a Consolidated Class Action Complaint was filed. The defendants responded by filing motions to dismiss on November 24, 2009. Before any ruling, the plaintiffs filed a Second Consolidated Class Action Complaint. The defendants have been given leave to file revised motions to dismiss. On June 30, 2010, the defendants filed two motions to dismiss. The motion is currently pending before the Court.
On January 11, 2012, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss.
On May 30, 2012, the Court issued an order preliminarily approving the proposed settlement and providing for notice.
On September 6, 2013, the Court issued an Order awarding attorneys' fees and expenses. On the same date, the Court also issued a Judgment and Order approving the Settlement and dismissing this case with prejudice. On October 1, a pro se objector filed a Notice appealing these Orders.