Corporate litigation in Oregon often is filed by shareholders who have a complaint against the company. They may object to how the business is being run or to some major development that they believe indicates poor judgment or abject negligence by the board and the officers of the corporation. When that occurs, both the attorneys for the company and those for the dissenting shareholder(s) will have an intensely strategic job ahead in maneuvering through the business litigation loops that will inevitably be faced.
An example of a shareholder dispute, albeit one that likely surpasses in intensity and public interest most similar disputes, is the recent one that has been filed against Facebook. A single shareholder filed a purported class-action suit recently against the social medial giant, alleging that Facebook has published false and/or misleading claims about the company’s promises to protect users’ personal privacy and data from outside sources. The heart of the claim deals with the ongoing scandal where an analytics firm was able to take control of some 50 million Facebook accounts and use the personal information of those users for political purposes.
It appears from the consensus of reports on this shocking turn of events that Facebook was somehow complicit in arranging for the use of the data. At least, it is not claimed that the company, Cambridge Analytics, hacked into Facebook and confiscated the information. The shareholder suit rests on the fact that Facebook’s stock value has been plummeting since the scandal broke.
The lawsuit asks the court to make an award of damages to the shareholders for their victimization at the hands of Facebook’s owners. Recently, Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has made public appearances in which he has accepted responsibility and pledged to fix the system so that such breaches do not occur in the future. That portends that the shareholder lawsuit will possibly end up in a settlement and a payment of damages to the shareholders. Shareholder suits are common in business litigation in Oregon and nationwide.
Source: msn.com, “Facebook Shareholder Files Class Action Suit Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal Fallout”, Brian Menegus, March 22, 2018