According to the law firm press release, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Plains, Plains Holdings and certain of its senior executives violated provisions of the Exchange Act by issuing false and misleading statements concerning the Company's pipeline monitoring, maintenance and spill response measures, as well as its compliance with federal regulations governing its pipeline operations. Among other things, Plains told investors and regulators that it was in compliance with regulations governing its pipeline operations, and that its Line 901 pipeline and operations off the coast of Santa Barbara, California were "state of the art" and therefore a spill was "extremely unlikely." The Complaint also seeks remedies under the Securities Act against Plains Holdings, certain of its senior officers and directors, and certain underwriters of the IPO and November 2014 Offering for material misstatements and omissions contained in materials issued in connection with the Offerings.
On May 19, 2015, news reports disclosed that Line 901 had ruptured, causing a spill that impacted several miles of some of the most environmentally sensitive and protected coastline in North America. Although the Company was required to notify the National Response Center within 30 minutes of discovery of the spill, the agency was instead notified as a result of a 911 call to the local fire department. Further, regulators investigating the spill have reported that Line 901 and an adjacent pipeline were "extensively" corroded, and that prior inspections had shown a worsening of pipeline integrity.
Moreover, after the spill occurred, Plains executives misrepresented the extent and severity of the spill. In the days after the spill was disclosed, Company officials told investors that a "worst case" estimate showed that 2,400 barrels had been released. However, on August 5, 2015, the Company reported that the extent of the spill was in fact far greater than initially reported, and that the U.S. Department of Justice had initiated a criminal investigation into the spill.
In response to disclosures concerning the spill and the truth about the Company's operations, the price of Plains securities have declined by nearly 30%. Plains Holdings Class A Shares have similarly declined in value, falling $5.65 per share on August 5, 2015, or over 20%.
This case was voluntarily dismissed by Plaintiffs on September 1, 2015.