Labaton Sucharow Defeats Motion to Dismiss in SCANA Class Action

by Labaton Sucharow

April 1, 2019

On March 29, 2019, the U.S. District Court for District of South Carolina denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a class action against energy provider SCANA Corporation.  The court found “the amended complaint plausibly demonstrates that Individual Defendants acted at least recklessly and possibly deliberately.” 

The action alleges that SCANA made false and misleading statements about the construction of two new nuclear reactors near Jenkinsville, South Carolina.  Despite touting progress to investors, the company and senior executives knew the project suffered from a host of fundamental problems.  In November 2015, an independent report from expert consultants detailed the “significant issues facing the project,” including “plans and schedules [that] are not reflective of actual project circumstances” and an engineering design which “is not yet completed” and “not constructible.”  Regardless, the defendants continued constructing the plants, touting its purported progress, and charging increased rates for over a year.

In 2017, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster publicly released the independent expert report that SCANA received. Soon thereafter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina and the FBI initiated a criminal investigation, and SCANA’s CEO and executive vice president left the company.

The Labaton Sucharow team includes partners James Johnson, Michael Rogers, Irina Vasilchenko, and Mark Willis, of counsel James McGovern, and associates James Christie and Phil Leggio.  The case is In re SCANA Corporation Securities Litigation, No. 17-cv-2616 (D.S.C.).  Labaton Sucharow serves as co-lead counsel, representing co-lead plaintiff the West Virginia Investment Management Board. 

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