According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that in July 2020, Ben & Jerry’s board passed a resolution to end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” as well as the risks attendant to the board’s decision. Additionally, Unilever’s s description of its legal risks was materially false and misleading because Unilever acknowledged that complying with all applicable laws and regulations was important but omitted discussing Ben & Jerry’s boycott decision, which risked adverse governmental actions for violations of laws, executive orders, or resolutions aimed at discouraging boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of Israel adopted by 35 U.S. states (“Anti-BDS Legislation”).
On July 19, 2021, Unilever and its hand-picked Ben & Jerry’s CEO, finally “operationalized” the Ben & Jerry’s board’s resolution to boycott. Ben & Jerry’s announced on its website and through its Twitter account that, upon the expiration of the current licensing agreement by which its products had been distributed in Israel for decades, Ben & Jerry’s would end sales of its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” but Ben & Jerry’s would purportedly continue to sell its products in Israel.
Ultimately, the states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona announced decisions to divest their pension fund investments in Unilever due to violations of their Anti-BDS Legislation.
When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.