According to the Complaint, 22nd Century Group, Inc. ("22nd Century" or the "Company") provides technology that increases or decreases the nicotine levels and other nicotinic alkaloids in tobacco plants, and cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) 22nd Century’s stock was prone to manipulation through paid stock promotions; (2) such conduct would subject 22nd Century to heightened regulatory scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission; and (3) consequently, 22nd Century’s public statements were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
On August 1, 2019, the Court issued an Order appointing Lead Plaintiffs and Counsel. On September 6, the Court issued an Order transferring the case to the Western District of New York.
On November 19, 2019, Lead Plaintiffs filed an amended Complaint. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the amended Complaint on May 1, 2020. On January 14, 2021, the Court issued an Order granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. The case was dismissed with prejudice. Lead Plaintiffs filed a notice appealing the Court's Dismissal Order on February 12.
On June 14, 2022, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and vacated in part the District Court's judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Defendants filed another Motion to Dismiss the amended Complaint on August 8, 2022. On January 6, 2023, the Court issued an Order denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
On April 25, 2023, the parties entered into a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement. On June 15, a magistrate judge recommended preliminary approval of the Settlement. On June 30, the Court adopted the report and recommendations of the magistrate judge and granted preliminary approval of the Settlement. On October 23, the Court granted final approval of the Settlement, including an award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, and entered Final Judgment.