COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2019
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
NOTE 9 – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
On January 18, 2018, William Mahon, a Company stockholder, served a demand upon the Company’s board of directors (the “Board”) pursuant to Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “Demand”) seeking to inspect certain of the Company’s books and records. Generally, the Demand’s stated purpose was to investigate allegedly excessive compensation awarded to non-employee Board members for the fiscal years 2015–2017. The Board denied the allegations in the Demand, and agreed to provide limited books and records to Mahon. On September 17, 2018, another Company stockholder, Francisco Dos Ramos, filed a stockholder derivative complaint in the Delaware Chancery Court (the “Dos Ramos Action”) against Steven Rouhandeh, Frank Carsten Thiel, Mark Alvino, Stefano Buono, Stephen Howell, Richard Van Duyne, and Todd Wider as defendants, and the Company as nominal defendant (the “Dos Ramos Defendants”). Dos Ramos generally alleges that the Board breached its fiduciary duties, were unjustly enriched, and committed corporate waste by approving allegedly excessive compensation to non-employee Board members for the fiscal years 2015–2017. Dos Ramos generally seeks disgorgement of the allegedly improper payments to the Board, money damages, an order requiring corporate governance reforms, costs and attorneys’ fees. On November 28, 2018, Mahon filed a stockholder derivative complaint (the “Mahon Action”) in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the “District Court”) against Mark Ahn, Mark Alvino, Jeffrey Davis, Stephen Howell, Todd Wider, and Steven Rouhandeh, as defendants, and the Company as a nominal defendant (“Mahon Defendants”). The allegations in the Mahon Action are substantially similar to those set forth in his Demand, as well as those in the Dos Ramos Action. Mahon generally seeks the disgorgement of the allegedly improper payments to the Board, a constructive trust, money damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. On December 6, 2018, Mahon and the Mahon Defendants filed a joint motion for preliminary approval of settlement, along with a stipulation of settlement (the “Stipulation”) intending to settle all claims asserted in the Mahon Action.
On January 8, 2019, the District Court approved the parties’ notice of settlement, enjoining all Company stockholders from commencing or further prosecuting any claims asserted in the Mahon Action, and scheduled a settlement approval hearing for May 1, 2019. On January 25, 2019, the Chancery Court entered an order staying the Dos Ramos Action until May 8, 2019—one week after the May 1, 2019 settlement hearing in the Mahon Action. On May 2, 2019 the District Court entered an Order and Final Judgment approving the Stipulation. On August 6, 2019, the plaintiff in the Dos Ramos Action filed a voluntary notice of dismissal. On August 7, 2019, the chancery court entered an order of dismissal.
On October 22, 2018, EB Research Partnership, Inc. (“EBRP”) served upon the Company a Request for Arbitration (the “Request”), alleging that the Company was in breach of an Agreement executed in July 2016 (the “Agreement”) between and among the Company, EBRP, and Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (“EBMRF” and together with EBRP, “Claimants”). EBRP alleged that Abeona had refused to lift trading restrictions on certain shares of Abeona common stock issued to EBRP, purportedly in breach of the Agreement. On November 21, 2018, the Company filed an action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking a declaration that it was not required to arbitrate its dispute with EBRP on the basis that the Agreement was void for lack of consideration. On February 4, 2019, the court granted Claimants’ motion to compel arbitration. EBMRF was subsequently joined as a party to the arbitration. The parties submitted briefs to the arbitrator on March 18 and April 18, 2019. On May 15, 2019, the arbitrator issued a decision in favor of the Company (the “Final Award”). Specifically, the Final Award provides that the Agreement is void for lack of consideration; that Claimants fraudulently induced Abeona to enter into the Agreement; that Claimants cannot enforce the Agreement; that Claimants are not entitled to any relief under the Agreement; that, in view of their status as charitable organizations, Claimants would not be required to repay to Abeona the value of Abeona common stock they already sold; that the Company shall cancel any and all shares of Abeona common stock issued to Claimants that were still in Claimants’ possession; and that, as the losing parties, Claimants must bear the costs and expenses of the arbitration and Abeona’s costs and expenses.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef