WASHINGTON–A class action lawsuit filed on January 18 charges Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc., with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to drive down the price of HearUSA common stock in an attempt to acquire the assets of the Florida-based network of hearing care practices for less than their fair market value. The action was brought by the Washington-based law firm Hausfeld LLP on behalf of people who sold HearUSA common stock between January 18, 2011 and July 31, 2011.
A Siemens Hearing subsidiary, Audiology Distribution, LLC, outbid William Demant at auction to acquire the assets of the bankrupt HearUSA on August 1, for $129 million.
The complaint accuses Siemens, which for many years supplied nearly all the hearing aids that HearUSA dispensed, of filing false and misleading statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It alleges that these false statements caused HearUSA common stock to drop from 90 cents a share on January 18 to 35 cents on July 28, 2011.
The plaintiffs also allege that Siemens falsely stated that it had no intention of acquiring HearUSA and that it overstated the amount that the company owed it. Such statements, the complaint contends, effectively told the market that HearUSA’s stock was of no value.
When the Siemens subsidiary acquired HearUSA, it paid market value, the complaint states. However, that did not help investors who had sold their stock in the company from January 18 through July 28 for less than its value. The suit seeks recovery from Siemens on behalf of these investors.
Hearinghealthmatters.org tried to contact executives at Siemens Hearing for a comment on the suit, but received no response.