Aids Vaccine Ride Suit Filed:
Pallotta Teamworks Sued For Unfair Business Practices
April 24, 2002 (Palo Alto, CA) – Fenwick & West announced today that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco against Pallotta Teamworks (PTW), the for-profit company which organizes "HIV/AIDS Vaccine Rides." These long-distance bike rides are conducted throughout the United States to raise money for the development of a vaccine to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS-related illnesses. To date, only $8 million of approximately $28 million raised has been distributed by PTW to the designated beneficiary organizations that conduct vaccine research.
"The promise of the AIDS Vaccine Ride was that it would help raise much-needed funds for research and development of a vaccine for HIV/AIDS," commented lead Plaintiff Mark Cloutier. "We were all misled. Instead, a vast majority of the raised funds went to PTW and its vendors. It is incredibly sad that PTW managed the funds so poorly that the beneficiary organizations did not receive a proper distribution of the monies raised."
The suit alleges that PTW, in its marketing materials and solicitation for the AIDS Vaccine Rides, has consistently misrepresented the amount of funds raised and distributed to designated beneficiaries. In addition, it alleges that PTW has engaged in unfair business practices and breached its fiduciary duties in its mismanagement of the funds raised. The lawsuit seeks full restitution to the intended beneficiary organizations of any funds wrongfully allocated and an injunction to prevent PTW from continuing these unfair business practices in the future.
Mark Cloutier and the class members are represented pro bono by a litigation team at Fenwick & West LLP that includes partners Victor Schachter and Patricia Lucas and associates Gregg Williams and Michael Weil. "Our central purpose in filing this suit is to recover the misallocated funds which should have been provided to the beneficiary organizations designated by PTW," commented Victor Schachter, Employment and Labor Partner at Fenwick & West. "Equally important, we want our message to the community to be clear—we want these events to continue and to be successful—and we want to ensure that organizers act with fiscal responsibility, keep accurate records and deal credibly with their donors and beneficiaries. At the end of the day, this suit will encourage support for HIV and AIDS-related causes through responsible fundraising activities and accountable organizations."
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to national and international technology clients, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, the Internet, venture capital and other corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, litigation and dispute resolution, antitrust, taxation, and employment and labor law. The only law firm named to Fortune's 1999-2001 lists of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," Fenwick & West has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA as well as Washington, D.C. Fenwick & West's Website URL is www.fenwick.com.