Mattel Investors Want Class Status for ‘Cover-Up’ Allegations


  • Proposed class period covers two years of Mattel stock trades
  • Bernstein Litowitz seeks class counsel role

Mattel Inc. investors who accused the company of engaging in a “cover-up” after making material misstatements in financial results asked a federal judge in California for permission to pursue their suit as a class.

The proposed class includes everyone who acquired the toymaker’s common stock from Aug. 2, 2017, to Aug. 8, 2019, inclusive, according to the motion for certification filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The suit also includes allegations against PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Mattel’s auditor.

Mattel and PwC moved to dismiss the case, but Judge Mark C. Scarsi rejected their attempt in January and allowed the suit to move forward.

There were more than 342 million shares of Mattel common stock outstanding during the class period, and “between 1.2 to 89.2 million shares traded daily,” the class certification motion said. The lead plaintiffs—DeKalb County Employees Retirement System and New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System—are “sophisticated institutional investors whose interests in prosecuting this Action are squarely aligned with the Class’s interests.”

A class action is the superior way to resolve the dispute because there are so many potential class members and most have claims too small to make separate litigation worthwhile, according to the motion.

The pension funds asked Scarsi to appoint them as representatives for the class and approve their lead counsel, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, as class counsel.

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP represents Mattel. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP represents PwC.

The case is In re Mattel Inc. Sec. Litig. , C.D. Cal., No. 2:19-cv-10860, class certification motion filed 4/30/21.