U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has dismissed a class action lawsuit against StoneMor Partners L.P. according to an article in the Delaware County Times. In this lawsuit, lead plaintiffs Judson Anderson was trying to show that investors were misled and/or materially harmed by statements StoneMor made between March 2012 and October 2016.
Judge Robreno dismissed the case on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Robreno also said that there was no intent to deceive, manipulate or defraud, as required by the pleading standards and there was was no violation of the Exchange Act. The plaintiffs were given to November 15 to file an amended complaint should they so wish.
The plaintiffs were trying to prove that StoneMor executives misled investors with phony earnings numbers designed to make the company appear more profitable than it actually was at the time. Investors were later hit with a 50% drop in distributions to them as well as a 45% drop in the stock price in late 2016. At the time StoneMor stock traded at about $25 per share and now trades at about $7 per share.
Much of StoneMor’s management has changed since that time also and we have written on Funeral Director Daily that it appears that new management is trying to right the ship at StoneMor.