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Church v. Maza

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

April 9, 2019

SUSAN S. CHURCH, Derivatively on Behalf of COCRYSTAL PHARMA, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ELLIOT MAZA, JEFFREY MECKLER, GERALD MCGUIRE, JAMES MARTIN, CURTIS DALE, RAYMOND SCHINAZI, GARY WILCOX, DAVID S. BLOCK, PHILLIP FROST, JANE HSIAO, STEVEN RUBIN, and BRIAN KELLER, Defendants, and COCRYSTAL PHARMA, INC., Nominal Defendant.

          Roger Townsend, WSBA #25525 Breskin Johnson Townsend, PLLC Attorneys for Plaintiff Susan S. Church

          Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Melissa A. Fortunato (Admitted pro hac vice)

          Ronald L. Berenstain, WSBA No. 7573

          Sean C. Knowles, WSBA No. 39893

          Joseph E. Bringman, WSBA No. 15236 Perkins Coie LLP Attorneys for Defendants Gary Wilcox, Raymond Schinazi, Jane Hsiao, Steven Rubin, David S. Block, James Martin, Gerald McGuire, Jeffrey Meckler, Curtis Dale, and Nominal Defendant Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.

          STIPULATION AND ORDER REGARDING ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE OF PROCESS AND STAY OF PROCEEDINGS

          THE HONORABLE THOMAS S. ZILLY JUDGE

         WHEREAS, on January 16, 2019, Plaintiff Susan S. Church (“Plaintiff”) filed in this Court a Verified Stockholder Derivative Complaint (the “Complaint”) (ECF No. 1) on behalf of nominal defendant Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (“Cocrystal”), captioned Church v. Maza, et al., No. 19-cv-00080-TSZ (the “Action”);

         WHEREAS, the Complaint names as defendants Elliot Maza, Jeffrey Meckler, Gerald McGuire, James Martin, Curtis Dale, Raymond Schinazi, Gary Wilcox, David S. Block, Phillip Frost, Jane Hsiao, Steven Rubin, and Brian Keller (collectively with Cocrystal, “Defendants”), who are either current or former directors and officers of Cocrystal, or former officers of its predecessor, BioZone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“BioZone”), and generally alleges that those defendants breached their fiduciary duties by failing to disclose in public filings the existence of a scheme in 2013 to artificially inflate the price of BioZone stock;

         WHEREAS, a related securities class action lawsuit, captioned Pepe v. Cocrystal Pharma, Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-14091-KM-JBC, is pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (the “Securities Class Action”);

         WHEREAS, the complaint in the Securities Class Action asserts federal securities claims against certain defendants who are also named as defendants in the Action arising from facts common to those alleged in the Action and, in particular, names as defendants current or former officers of Cocrystal and former officers of BioZone, among others, and alleges that those defendants violated the federal securities laws by failing to disclose in public filings the existence of a scheme in 2013 to artificially inflate the price of BioZone stock;

         WHEREAS, on December 18, 2018, the court in the Securities Class Action entered an order providing that (a) within fourteen (14) days of the court's order appointing a Lead Plaintiff in the Securities Class Action, counsel for the parties shall confer regarding a schedule for Lead Plaintiff to file an amended complaint and for defendants to move to dismiss that amended complaint, and (b) within twenty-one (21) days of the court's order appointing a Lead Plaintiff, the parties shall file a Stipulation and Proposed Order seeking the court's approval of that schedule;

         WHEREAS, motions to appoint Lead Plaintiff and Lead Plaintiff's counsel are fully briefed and pending before the court in the Securities Class Action; WHEREAS, counsel for Plaintiff and counsel for defendants Gary Wilcox, Raymond Schinazi, Jane Hsiao, Steven Rubin, David S. Block, James Martin, Gerald McGuire, Jeffrey Meckler, Curtis Dale, and Nominal Defendant Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (collectively with Plaintiff, the “Stipulating Parties”), who are all the parties who have appeared in the Action, have conferred regarding the status of the Action, the Securities Class Action, and the appropriate next steps;

         WHEREAS, the Stipulating Parties agree that resolution of the related Securities Class Action may have bearing on the claims asserted in the Action;

         WHEREAS, based on the overlapping parties and factual allegations in the Action and in the Securities Class Action and the likely impact of the resolution of the Securities Class Action on the claims in the Action, and to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of judicial and party resources, the Stipulating Parties have agreed, subject to this Court's approval, to a limited stay of the Action until (1) the Securities Class Action is dismissed, with prejudice, and all appeals related thereto have been exhausted; (2) any defendant's motion to dismiss the Securities Class Action is denied ...


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