Predictably, plaintiffs lawyers filed a class action suit this week against Walmart and several current and former executives.
It alleges they violated federal securities laws by issuing ‘materially false and misleading statements regarding Walmart’s practices with respect to unlawful or unethical conduct’ — specifically that ‘executives had been involved in a multi-million-dollar bribery scheme at Walmart’s Mexican subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico.’
‘Walmart’s stock plummeted . . . on April 23, 2012 . . . nearly 5%,’ the suit alleges. The shares lost more value over the next two days ‘as investors absorbed this shocking news.’
There’s no private right of action under the FCPA. So private litigants have to resort to other causes of action — such as securities law violations, common law fraud, RICO, or breach of fiduciary duties.
Named as defendants in the new class action suit are Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Michael T. Duke, Charles M. Holley, Jr., H. Lee Scott, Jr., Eduardo Solórzano Morales, and Eduardo Castro-Wright. It was filed in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee.
A press release about it is here.
The first page of the complaint (pictured below) features the countenance and wisdom of none other than Sam Walton (1918 – 1992). His official biography on Walmart’s website says: ‘When Sam Walton opened his first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962, no one imagined he was introducing a retailing formula that within a generation would impact the lives of millions of people.’