Swabb v. ZAGG, Inc., No. 14-4026 (10th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs appealed the district court’s dismissal of a securities class action against ZAGG, Inc. and its former CEO and Chairman, Robert Pedersen, alleging violations of the antifraud provisions of the securities laws. The plaintiffs alleged Pedersen failed to disclose in several of ZAGG’s SEC filings the fact that he had pledged nearly half of his ZAGG shares (or approximately 9 percent of the company), as collateral in a margin account. The district court dismissed the complaint for a failure to plead particularized facts giving rise to a strong inference that Pedersen acted with an intent to defraud as required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA). The Tenth Circuit found that the PSLRA subjected plaintiffs to a heightened pleading requirement of alleging intent to defraud with particularized facts that give rise to an inference that is at least as cogent as any competing, nonculpable explanations for a defendant’s conduct. After review, the Tenth Circuit agreed with the district court that the plaintiffs did not meet that standard here.