Israel Sanchez v. Centene Corp

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
Case Number: 4:17-cv-00806-AGF
Judge: Hon. Audrey G. Fleissig
Class Period: 05/24/2016 - 07/25/2016
Case Contacts: Jonathan D. Uslaner, Lauren M. Cruz

This is a securities fraud class action on behalf of all purchasers of Centene Corporation common stock between May 24, 2016 and July 25, 2016, inclusive (the “Class Period”), alleging claims pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against Centene and two of its top officers, Michael Neidorff (its CEO and Board Chairman) and Jeffrey Schwaneke (its CFO).

Lead Plaintiff Has Reached a Proposed Settlement for $7.5 Million

The Court-appointed Lead Plaintiff Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension & Relief Fund, on behalf of itself and the Settlement Class, has reached a proposed settlement of the Action for $7,500,000 in cash that, if approved, will resolve the Action (the “Settlement”).

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your rights will be affected and you may be eligible for a payment from the Settlement.  The Settlement Class consists of:

all persons and entities who purchased the common stock of Centene during the period from May 24, 2016 through July 25, 2016, inclusive (the “Class Period”) and who were damaged thereby.  Certain persons and entities are excluded from the Settlement Class by definition (see paragraph 20 of the Notice) or may request exclusion pursuant to the instructions set forth in the Notice (see paragraphs 69-72 of the Notice).

Please read the Notice to fully understand your rights and options.  Copies of the Notice and Claim Form can be found on the Case Documents page.  You may also visit the Settlement website, CenteneSecuritiesLitigation.com, for more information about the Settlement.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, in order to be potentially eligible to receive a payment under the proposed Settlement, you must submit a Claim Form postmarked no later than October 13, 2020

Payments to eligible claimants will be made only if the Court approves the Settlement and a plan of allocation, and only after any appeals are resolved, and after the completion of all claims processing.  Please be patient, as this process will take some time to complete.

IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES

October 13, 2020

Claim Filing Deadline. Claim Forms must be postmarked no later than October 13, 2020 to be eligible for a payment from the Settlement.

October 5, 2020

Exclusion Deadline. To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must submit a written request for exclusion so that it is received no later than October 5, 2020, in accordance with the instructions in the Notice.

October 5, 2020

Objection Deadline. Any objections to the proposed Settlement, the proposed Plan of Allocation, or the motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses, must be submitted or filed no later than October 5, 2020, in accordance with the instructions in the Notice.

October 26, 2020
at 10:00 a.m.

Settlement Hearing.  The Settlement Hearing will be held October 26, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., before the Honorable Audrey G. Fleissig at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, either in in person at Courtroom 12 South, Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse, 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102 or by teleconference.  The Settlement Hearing will be held by the Court to consider, among other things, whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved; whether the proposed Plan of Allocation is fair and reasonable and should be approved; and whether Lead Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses should be approved.

 

Background

The case commenced on November 14, 2016.  On May 1, 2017, the Court appointed Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension & Relief Fund as Lead Plaintiff for the Class and BLB&G as Lead Counsel.  On July 17, 2017, Lead Plaintiff filed the operative Complaint on behalf of purchasers of Centene common stock between April 26, 2016 and July 25, 2016.

The Complaint alleges that Centene and certain of its top officers made false and misleading statements to investors, and omitted material facts, regarding the financial condition and liabilities of Health Net, Inc., which Centene acquired shortly before the Class Period.  When the truth emerged, the price of Centene’s common stock plunged precipitously, causing significant losses to investors.

On September 15, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint, which Plaintiffs opposed. On August 30, 2019, the Court denied in part and granted in part the Defendants’ motion to dismiss, reducing the Class Period to the two-month period from May 24, 2016 through July 25, 2016. 

On January 29, 2020, following a mediation before Michelle Yoshida of Phillips ADR, the Parties reached an agreement in principle to settle the Action in return for a cash payment of $7,500,000, which is subject to the approval of the Court.

On March 5, 2020, the Parties entered into the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement, which sets forth the full terms and conditions of the Settlement. On March 12, 2020, Lead Plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary approval of the Settlement with the Court. On June 23, 2020, the Court entered an Order preliminarily approving the Settlement, approving the mailing of notice to the Settlement Class, and scheduling a final Settlement Hearing for October 26, 2020.

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