Federal court grants Primo Water's motion to dismiss class action

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Aug 16, 2013

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Legal Newsline) -- A federal judge this week dismissed a federal securities class action lawsuit against a bottled water company.

On Wednesday, Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina granted Primo Water Corporation's motion to dismiss the suit.

The class action, Plymouth County Retirement Association et al. v. Primo Water Corporation et al., was filed in December 2011 on behalf of those who acquired the common stock of what was then a start-up company between November 2010 and November 2011 -- including Primo's initial public offering and its common stock offering.

The plaintiffs sought recovery for their stock losses under sections of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, or PSLRA, of 1995.

Primo, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., is the leading provider of multi-gallon purified bottled water, self-serve filtered drinking water and water dispensers.

In his 73-page memorandum opinion and order, Schroeder dismissed all claims asserted in the case with prejudice, and entered judgment in the company's favor.

"For the reasons stated, the court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the Primo Defendants or the Underwriter Defendants under Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the 1933 Act and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the 1934 Act, because the challenged statements are not material misrepresentations or omissions of material fact," the judge wrote.

"Further, many of these same statements are forward-looking and protected by the PSLRA's safe harbor. Thus, dismissal of the amended complaint is appropriate."

Click here to read the judge's full opinion and order.

Primo applauded the court's decision.

"We are pleased with the court's ruling to dismiss the lawsuit as it was our belief from the beginning that this case was without merit, and it is rewarding to see that the court has rejected the plaintiffs' unfounded claims," Billy Prim, Primo's chief executive officer, said in a statement this week.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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