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Vanessa M. Milan

Associate

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F   610.667.7056

Vanessa Milan is an associate in the Firm's Philadelphia office. Vanessa received her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2019 and her undergraduate degrees in Government & Law and English from Lafayette College in 2016. While in law school, Vanessa served as an Articles Editor for the Temple Law Review. Prior to joining the firm, Vanessa served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Robert D. Mariani, United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Vanessa is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New York.

Experience

Ongoing Cases

  • CASE CAPTION In re Acuity Brands, Inc. Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
    CASE NUMBER 1:18-cv-02140-MHC
    JUDGE Honorable Mark H. Cohen
    PLAINTIFF Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi
    DEFENDANTS Acuity Brands, Inc., Vernon J. Nagel, Richard K. Reece, & Mark A. Black
    CLASS PERIOD October 7, 2017 to April 3, 2017, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action arises from Acuity’s false and misleading statements regarding its ability to sustain the growth rate it experienced from 2010 to 2015.

    From 2010 to 2015, Acuity experienced a rapid growth rate fueled by the recovery in non-residential construction following the 2008 financial crisis and a wide transition to LED lighting. Acuity’s relationship with The Home Depot created a strong foundation for its extraordinary sales growth, as the Company experienced nine consecutive quarters of record growth. However, by the middle of 2015, competitive pressures in the lighting industry, including increased competition from overseas suppliers, lower LED prices, and a failure to break into the smart lighting solutions market, as well as a dramatic decline in sales to The Home Depot, slowed the Company’s growth considerably. Acuity’s investors were kept in the dark about all of these fundamental developments while the Defendants materially misrepresented Acuity’s ability to maintain the growth rate that it experienced in the previous five years.

    Acuity’s declining growth rate was revealed to the public gradually when the Company reported three consecutive quarters of below-expectation results. Acuity’s stock prices deteriorated, causing massive losses to shareholders.

    Plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on behalf of a putative class of investors, alleging that Acuity, Vernon Nagel, and Richard Reece violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act by making materially false and misleading statements regarding the growth rate of Acuity; and that Nagel, Reece, and Mark Black as controlling persons of Acuity violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. On August 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted in part and denied in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss.

    On August 25, 2020, Plaintiff’s motion for class certification was granted, certifying the following class: “All persons who invested in the publicly traded common stock of Acuity Brands, Inc. between October 7, 2015, through April 3, 2017 (the ‘Class Period’) and were damaged thereby.” The Court appointed Plaintiff, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, as Class Representative; and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check and Labaton Sucharow as Class Counsel.  Defendants have taken an immediate appeal of the class certification order, which is currently pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 

  • CASE CAPTION      Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S v. Becton, Dickinson and Company, et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER 2:20-cv-02155-SRC-CLW
    JUDGE Honorable Stanley R. Chesler and Honorable Cathy L. Waldor
    PLAINTIFF Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S (“Industriens”)
    DEFENDANTS Becton, Dickinson and Company, Vincent A. Forlenza, Thomas E. Polen, and Christopher R. Reidy
    CLASS PERIOD November 5, 2019 through February 5, 2020, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action arises out of Becton’s alleged misrepresentations concerning its ability to market one of its key products—the Alaris infusion pump system (“Alaris”)—in 2020.

    For years, Alaris has been an important revenue driver for Becton, accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales, and the cornerstone product of its main Becton Medical segment. Beginning in November 2019, Defendants stopped shipping Alaris, explaining to investors that the pause related to mere software “upgrades,” would quickly resolve, and would simply push Alaris sales into the final three quarters of Becton’s fiscal 2020, allowing for strong Company-wide 2020 earnings growth. In reality, however, the problems with Alaris were much more severe than Defendants let on, as the product had been beset with undisclosed defects, safety and compliance issues, and unremediated regulatory failures for months, and in some cases, years, prior to late 2019. When Defendants revealed the full sweep of these issues in February 2020, and the fact that Alaris would be pulled from the market for an indefinite number of months—causing earnings guidance for 2020 to be slashed—Becton’s stock price dropped over $33.00 in a single day of trading.

    Industriens filed an amended complaint in February 2021 on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Becton and former executive Forlenza, as well as current executives Polen and Reidy, violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements about Alaris and the issues the product faced. As alleged, Defendants downplayed and outright misrepresented the severe safety and regulatory problems Becton knew troubled the Alaris product line, and assured investors that Becton was on track to meet its earnings guidance for 2020, anchored by Alaris revenues, through a series of false or misleading statements. Meanwhile, Forlenza and Polen enriched themselves by together selling over $58 million worth of their personally-held shares of Becton stock between November 2019 and February 2020. The February 2020 revelation of the truth about the Alaris issues led directly to the sharp decline in Becton’s stock price noted above, causing significant losses and injury to the Company’s investors.

    On September 15, 2021, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, but granted Plaintiff leave to amend the amended complaint.  On October 29 2021, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint.

  • CASE CAPTION    In re The Boeing Company Aircraft Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    CASE NUMBER 1:19-cv-02394
    JUDGE Honorable John J. Tharp Jr.
    PLAINTIFF

    Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, City of Warwick Retirement System, William C. Houser, Bret E. Taggart, & Robert W. Kegley Sr.

    DEFENDANTS The Boeing Company, Dennis A. Muilenburg, and Gregory D. Smith
    CLASS PERIOD November 7, 2018 through December 16, 2019, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action arises out of Boeing’s alleged misstatements and concealment of the significant safety issues with its 737 MAX airliner, which caused two horrific plane crashes. In 2011, under pressure after its main competitor developed a fuel-efficient jet, Boeing announced its own fuel-efficient jet, the 737 MAX. In its rush to get the MAX to market, Boeing deliberately concealed safety risks with its updated airliner from regulators. On October 29, 2018, the 737 MAX being flown by Lion Air malfunctioned and crashed, killing 189 people. While Boeing repeatedly assured the public that the 737 MAX was safe to fly, internally, the Company was quietly overhauling the airliner’s systems in an attempt to reduce the risk of another fatal malfunction. Despite Boeing’s reassurances to the public, on March 10, 2019 another 737 MAX, this time operated by Ethiopian Airlines, experienced malfunctions before crashing and killing 157 people.

    Even as regulators and Congress investigated the crashes, throughout the Class Period, Boeing continued to convey to the public that the 737 MAX would return to operation while covering up the full extent of the airliner’s safety issues. In December 2019, Boeing finally announced it would suspend production of the 737 MAX, causing the dramatic decline of Boeing’s stock price and significant losses and damages to shareholders. Since the 737 MAX catastrophe, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a civil fraud investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice has initiated a criminal investigation into Boeing’s fraudulent conduct.

    In February 2020, a Consolidated Class Action Complaint was filed on behalf of a putative class of investors. The complaint alleges Boeing and its former executives—including former President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board Dennis Muilenburg and CFO Gregory Smith—violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements regarding the fatal safety issues with its 737 MAX airliner. The complaint additionally alleges violations of Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act against Dennis Muilenburg and Gregory Smith as controlling persons liable for the false and misleading statements made by Boeing.

    Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Class Action Complaint, which is currently pending before the Honorable John J. Tharp Jr.

  • CASE CAPTION In re Celgene Corporation Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER 2:18-cv-04772-JMV-JBC
    JUDGE Honorable John Michael Vazquez and Honorable James B. Clark, III
    PLAINTIFF AMF Pensionsförsäkring AB (“AMF”)
    DEFENDANTS Celgene Corporation (“Celgene”), Scott A. Smith, Terrie Curran, and Philippe Martin
    CLASS PERIOD April 27, 2017 through April 27, 2018, inclusive

    This securities fraud case involves Celgene’s misrepresentations and omissions about two billion dollar drugs, Otezla and Ozanimod, that Celgene touted as products that would make up for the anticipated revenue drop following the patent expiration of Celgene’s most profitable drug, Revlimid.

    Celgene launched Otezla, a drug treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, in 2014. Celgene primed the market that Otezla sales were poised to sky-rocket, representing that Otezla net product sales would reach $1.5 billion to $2 billion by 2017. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Defendants represented that Celgene was on-track to meet the 2017 sales projection. As early as mid-2016, however, Defendants received explicit internal warnings that the 2017 projection was unattainable, but continued to reaffirm the 2017 target to investors. By October 2017, however, Celgene announced that the Company had slashed the 2017 guidance by more than $250 million and lowered the 2020 Inflammatory & Immunology (“I&I”) guidance by over $1 billion. Celgene’s stock price plummeted on the news.

    Ozanimod, a drug treating multiple sclerosis, is another product in Celgene’s I&I pipeline, and was initially developed by a different company, Receptos. In July 2015, Celgene purchased Receptos for $7.2 billion and projected annual Ozanimod sales of up to $6 billion despite the fact that Ozanimod was not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).

    Celgene told investors that it would file a New Drug Application (“NDA”) for Ozanimod with the FDA in 2017. Unbeknownst to investors, however, Celgene discovered a metabolite named CC112273 (the “Metabolite”) through Phase I testing that Celgene started in October 2016, which triggered the need for extensive testing that was required before the FDA would approve the drug. Despite the need for this additional Metabolite testing that would extend beyond 2017, Defendants continued to represent that Celgene was on track to submit the NDA before the end of 2017 and concealed all information about the Metabolite.  In December 2017, without obtaining the required Metabolite study results, Celgene submitted the Ozanimod NDA to the FDA. Two months later, the FDA rejected the NDA by issuing a rare “refuse to file,” indicating that the FDA “identifie[d] clear and obvious deficiencies” in the NDA.  When the relevant truth was revealed concerning Ozanimod, Celgene’s stock price fell precipitously, damaging investors.   

    On February 27, 2019, AMF filed a 207-page Second Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint against Celgene and its executives under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act. On December 19, 2019, U.S. District Judge John Michael Vasquez issued a 49-page opinion sustaining AMF’s claims as to (1) Celgene’s and Curran’s misstatements regarding Otezla being on track to meet Celgene’s 2017 sales projections, and (2) Celgene’s, Martin’s, and Smith’s misstatements about the state of Ozanimod’s testing and prospects for regulatory approval.

    On November 29, 2020, Judge Vasquez certified a class of “All persons and entities who purchased the common stock of Celgene Corp. between April 27, 2017 through and April 27, 2018, and were damaged thereby” and appointed Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check as Class Counsel. Discovery is ongoing.