Matt Jacobs

The New Frontier of Investor Lawsuits and Private Company D&O Insurance Coverage: Theranos and Other “Unicorn” Lawsuits

WHt Binary_iStock_000004319108LargeBy Matthew L. Jacobs

On October 10, 2016, Partner Investments, L.P. and two related entities filed a lawsuit under seal in the Delaware Chancery Court against Theranos, Inc., Elizabeth Holmes, its founder; and Ramesh Balwini, the former Chief Operating Officer. Partner Investments is a San Francisco-based hedge fund that invests in health care and technology companies, and the lawsuit alleges that it invested $96.1 million in Theranos in February 2014 after a series of meetings between fund personnel and the individual defendants that started in December 2013.  On November 8, 2016, Walgreen Company, a Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. unit,  filed a similar, $140 million, lawsuit against Theranos alleging that it also was induced to invest funds through misrepresentations about the state of Theranos’ technology and operations, even when the two entities were working together. The lawsuit was also filed under seal in a Delaware federal court. See Walgreens Co. v. Theranos Inc., No. 16-cv-1040 (D. Del. filed Nov. 8, 2016).

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