Schmidt v. Skolas, No. 13-3750 (3d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In 2012 Schmidt, a former shareholder in Genaera, a biotechnology company that dissolved in 2009 and liquidated its assets, brought suit on behalf of himself and other former shareholders against the liquidating trustee (Argyce); the Genaera Liquidating Trust; Argyce’s CEO and Genaera’s former CFO; former major Genaera shareholders Xmark and BVF; former Genara directors and officers (D&O defendants); and the purchasers of certain Genaera assets. The complaint alleged that the liquidating trustee and the D&O defendants breached their fiduciary duties by disposing of promising drug technologies in tainted insider deals for far less than their true value and that Xmark and BVF aided and abetted this behavior so that companies they controlled could acquire Genaera’s assets at fire sale prices. Schmidt did not dispute the applicability of the two-year statute of limitations and that he filed suit more than two years after the assets were sold, but argued that the limitations period should be tolled under Pennsylvania’s discovery rule because he could not have been aware of the insider nature of the sales or that the assets were sold for below actual value until he learned the details of the sales, and subsequent market events suggested to him that the assets were quite valuable. The district court dismissed. The Third Circuit reversed in part, stating that it was premature to determine whether Schmidt exercised reasonable diligence.