Hotz v. Galectin Therapeutics, Inc., No. 16-10324 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In February 2014, appellant-plaintiff Glynn Hotz purchased 16,000 shares of appellee-defendant Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. (“Galectin”), a small biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. The price for Galectin common stock was $17.90 per share. In July 2014, news outlets began to report that Galectin had paid promotional firms to write flattering articles about Galectin and to “tout” Galectin’s stock price. Days later, Galectin’s stock price crashed, losing over half its value, falling from a price of $15.91 per share to $7.10 per share in one day. After suffering stock losses, Hotz filed a consolidated class action complaint against Galectin in May 2015. Hotz appealed the district court’s Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of his complaint for failure to state a claim. Hotz argued: (1) that Galectin made material misstatements and omissions of fact by not disclosing that it had paid the promotional firms to tout Galectin stock; and (2) that certain Galectin officers and directors were liable for the company’s actions in their personal capacity as “controlling persons” of Galectin under section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. After thorough review, and with the benefit of oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit found no reversible error and affirmed.