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Berkeley Lights Inc.

Company NameBerkeley Lights Inc.
Stock SymbolBLI
Class PeriodJuly 17, 2020 to September 14, 2021
Lead Plaintiff Motion DeadlineFebruary 07, 2022

On September 15, 2021, Scorpion Capital published a research report, alleging, among other things, that Berkeley Lights’ customers “allege they were ‘tricked,’ misled, or over-promised into buying a $2 million lemon” and that the Company’s “product claims and practices may constitute outright fraud.” Citing interviews with former employees and executives, the report stated that Berkeley Lights is “a chaotic, wayward company that never found a viable product, value proposition, or market – and corroborate the scathing feedback from customers.” Other problems mentioned in the Scorpion Capital report included the fact that the Company’s instruments were not robust enough for commercial use and frequently broke down, were prone to contamination, suffered from throughput limitations, were plagued by data integrity issues, and experienced repeated software problems.

On this news, Berkeley Lights’ stock fell $9.23, or 28%, over two trading days to close at $23.53 per share on September 16, 2021, thereby injuring investors.

The complaint filed alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that Berkeley Lights’ flagship instrument, the Beacon, suffered from numerous design and manufacturing defects including breakdowns, high error rates, data integrity issues and other problems, limiting the ability of biotechnology companies and research institutions to consistently use the machines at scale; (2) that Berkeley Lights had received numerous customer complaints regarding the durability and effectiveness of the Company’s automation systems, including complaints related to the design and manufacturing detailed above, and described herein; (3) that the actual market for Berkeley Lights’ products and services was a fraction of the $23 billion represented to investors because of, inter alia, the relatively high cost of the Company’s instruments and consumables and inability to provide the sustained performance necessary to justify these high costs; and (4) as a result, Defendants' statements about its business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

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