The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint for fraud against Applied Bioscience Corp. in May 2020. The SEC alleges that Applied Biosciences Corp. sought to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for profit. In March 2020, the company changed its focus from cannabinoid-based products to pandemic-related products to “help battle the spread of COVID-19.” In late March, the company issued a press release outlining their sales of home test kits to the general public for COVID-19. The SEC determined that no shipments occurred and that the press release was misleading as the company did not disclose the FDA had not approved or authorized the sale of any COVID-19 at home test kits.

The SEC’s complaint charges the company with fraud for violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Applied Biosciences Corp., S.D.N.Y., Case No. 20 Civ. 3729.

June 15, 2020 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation used June 15 as an opportunity to remind all of us to help elders be on guard for financial exploitation. You can see the State’s announcement here.

The State’s announcement is a reminder that in light of COVID-19, social isolation has exposed seniors to increased risk of financial abuse. Schemes to take advantage of seniors can include everything from identify theft, to prize and sweepstakes scams, to romance scams, to unscrupulous investment advisers who overconcentrate a senior’s portfolio or recommend unsuitable investments.

Along with laws that protect you from investment fraud, Oregon has laws aimed at providing additional protections for people who are 65 and older. In particular, laws prohibiting financial elder abuse create a statutory right for a person 65 and over to bring a legal action against someone who causes or permits financial abuse. Many financial abuse cases in Oregon involve a defendant who has wrongfully taken money that belongs to an elderly person or that is intended for the use of an elderly person. Oregon’s financial elder abuse statutes give the plaintiff who wins his or her case the right to recover three times the amount of damages plus reasonable attorney fees.

Because of the protections for seniors in elder abuse statutes in Oregon and other states, when we are evaluating cases that involve investment fraud or other financial misconduct, we also look to see whether the victim may have a right to bring a claim for financial elder abuse.

Two petitions by groups of policyholders to centralize the disputes of business interruption insurance class actions relating to COVID-19 business losses were filed in the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. One petition seeks to have the cases centralized in Illinois while the second petition is asking for centralization in Pennsylvania. Insurance and policyholders have filed 63 responses to the petitions. For those supporting such consolidation, mostly policyholders, argue efficiency. Those opposing such consolidation, mostly insurers, policyholders and advocates for both, argue specific policies and claims pertain to jurisdictions in different ways making consolidation ineffective.

The JPML meets in July and will issue a decision.

Currently, Stoll Berne has two similar business interruption insurance class actions. To read about one such case regarding Portland’s own James Beard award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy and the celebrated restaurant Beast, click here.


This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

Sign up to receive Class Actions Blog posts in your inbox!


A class action lawsuit has been filed against a New Jersey long-term care facility. The facility is facing more than $220,000 in fines from the state after an investigation.

The named plaintiff said her 75-year-old father died after contracting COVID-19 at the facility.

The lawsuit claims the facility “did not timely diagnose” residents and patients and “failed to properly treat their condition.” It also alleges management only provided masks to registered nurses and not other staff members who interacted with residents.


This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

Sign up to receive Class Actions Blog posts in your inbox!


The critically acclaimed Portland eatery, Beast, owned by a James Beard Foundation Award winner, filed a federal class action lawsuit against its insurance company on May 13, 2020, alleging several counts of breach of contract after the insurance company did not pay the establishment for business interruption caused by the government imposed quarantine. Beast’s suit filed in federal court in Portland claims the restaurant has a no-restrictions business interruption insurance policy and that Continental Western Insurance Company has not paid out its claims as the restaurant lost out on business income and incurred expenses due to the coronavirus.

Since March, Beast was forced to suspend business operations due to the risk of exposing customers and staff to COVID-19 and because of Oregon Gov. Brown’s stay-at-home order that mandated all restaurants be shuttered save for drive-thrus, takeout or deliveries.

Beast is represented by the Lieff Cabraser firm from San Francisco and locally by the Stoll Berne law firm. The Stoll Berne law firm, along with the Chicago law firm, Dicello Levitt, filed a similar lawsuit against Oregon Mutual Insurance Company on April 17, 2020.

To read a news post on this lawsuit, click here.


This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

Sign up to receive Class Actions Blog posts in your inbox!