Note 10 - Commitments and Contingencies
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2023
|Notes to Financial Statements|
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block]||
We are subject to legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business. In accordance with ASC Topic 450, Contingencies, we make a provision for a liability when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Although the outcome of any litigation is uncertain, in our opinion, the amount of ultimate liability, if any, with respect to these actions, will not materially affect our financial position.
The Company has been engaged in ongoing litigation with CRG, in its capacity as a lender and as control agent for other affiliated lenders party to the CRG Loan Agreement (collectively, the “CRG Lenders”), in the Texas Court relating to CRG’s claims of default under the terms the CRG Loan Agreement. Following a trial in December 2017, the Texas Court ruled that the Company’s total obligation to CRG was in excess of $66.0 million, limited to $66.0 million under the Global Settlement Agreement (“GSA”) dated March 3, 2017. The Texas Court acknowledged only the $59.0 million payment made in March 2017, concluding that the Company owed CRG another $7.0 million, however the Texas Court did not expressly take the Company’s June 2016 payment of $4.1 million into account and awarded, as part of the $66.0 million, amounts that had already been paid as part of the $4.1 million. The Company believes that this $4.1 million should be credited against the $7.0 million and has appealed the Texas Court’s judgment. The Court of Appeals dismissed the Company’s appeal without reaching the merits due to a contractual waiver of appeal.
In April 2018, CRG asserted claims against Navidea and MT for alleged breaches of the GSA and Loan Agreement entered into by Navidea arising from Navidea’s challenge to CRG’s drawing down on letters of credit in the full amount of $7,153,000. Navidea claimed such draw down resulted in an overpayment of approximately $4.2 million under the Loan Agreement. CRG also sought declaratory judgment relief that essentially mirrored their claims for affirmative relief, i.e., that the Company breached the GSA and indemnification provision of the Loan Agreement, and that CRG did not breach the GSA.
On November 21, 2021, the Texas Court entered an interlocutory judgment declaring that CRG did not breach the GSA, but that Navidea did breach the GSA and the indemnification provision of the CRG Loan Agreement. In the interlocutory order, the Texas Court sua sponte awarded as damages reasonable attorneys' fees in an amount, if any, to be determined at trial. CRG made a claim of approximately $2.8 million in attorneys' fees they contend they are entitled to in connection with the alleged breaches of the agreements. Navidea contends CRG have received payments in excess of the amounts owed under the CRG Loan Agreement and are not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees under the GSA or Loan Agreement. On August 30, 2022, the Texas Court made an oral ruling from the bench at the conclusion of the trial, awarding CRG approximately $2.6 million in attorney’s fees on their breach of contract claims against Navidea and MT. A formal written final judgment was entered by the Texas Court on August 31, 2022, however, the written judgment did not identify the basis and reasoning in support of the decision. On September 9, 2022 Navidea filed a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law, asking that the Texas Court state in writing the facts found by the Court and the Court’s conclusions of law. On October 11, 2022, the Texas Court filed their findings of fact and conclusions of law, which includes conclusions of law that the amounts due are subject to an interest rate of 18% per annum. The Company has objected to many of the findings of fact and conclusions of law and to any attempt to amend the final judgment as being untimely. The Texas Court’s judgment remains unchanged. The Company has appealed the Texas Court’s judgment to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, filing its Appellant’s Brief on April 7, 2023. As of March 31, 2023, the Company has accrued approximately $3.5 million of legal fees and interest pursuant to the Texas Court’s ruling.
Goldberg Agreement and Litigation
In August 2018, Dr. Goldberg resigned from his positions as an executive officer and a director of Navidea. In connection with Dr. Goldberg’s resignation, Navidea and Dr. Goldberg entered into an Agreement (the “Goldberg Agreement”) which set forth the terms of the separation from service. Among other things, the Goldberg Agreement provided that Dr. Goldberg would be entitled to 1,175,000 shares of our Common Stock, representing in part payment of accrued bonuses and payment of the balance of the Platinum debt. A portion of the 1,175,000 shares to be issued to Dr. Goldberg would be held in escrow for up to 18 months in order to reimburse Navidea in the event that Navidea is obligated to pay any portion of the Platinum debt to a party other than Dr. Goldberg. Further, the Goldberg Agreement provided that the Company’s subsidiary, MT, would redeem all of Dr. Goldberg’s preferred stock and issue to Dr. Goldberg super voting common stock equal to 5% of the outstanding shares of MT. In November 2018, the Company issued 925,000 shares of our Common Stock to Dr. Goldberg, 250,000 of which were placed in escrow in accordance with the Goldberg Agreement.
On February 11, 2019, Dr. Goldberg represented to the MT Board of Directors (the “MT Board”) that he had, without MT Board or shareholder approval, created a subsidiary of MT, transferred all of the assets of MT into the subsidiary, and then issued himself stock in the subsidiary. On February 19, 2019, Navidea notified MT that it was terminating the sublicense in accordance with its terms, effective March 1, 2019, due to MT’s insolvency. On February 20, 2019, the MT Board removed Dr. Goldberg as President and Chief Executive Officer of MT and from any other office of MT to which he may have been appointed or in which he was serving. Dr. Goldberg remains a member of the MT Board, together with John K. Scott, Jr., who is also the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Navidea. On or about February 17, 2022, the Joint Official Liquidators and Foreign Representatives of PPVA executed the necessary paperwork to transfer its preferred stock in MT to Navidea.
New York Litigation Involving Dr. Goldberg
On February 20, 2019, Navidea filed a complaint against Dr. Goldberg in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (the “District Court”), alleging breach of the Goldberg Agreement, as well as a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and to obtain a declaratory judgment that Navidea’s performance under the Goldberg Agreement is excused and that Navidea is entitled to terminate the Goldberg Agreement as a result of Dr. Goldberg’s actions. On April 26, 2019, Navidea filed an amended complaint against Dr. Goldberg which added a claim for breach of fiduciary duty seeking damages related to certain actions Dr. Goldberg took while CEO of Navidea. On June 13, 2019, Dr. Goldberg answered the amended complaint and asserted counterclaims against Navidea and third-party claims against MT for breach of the Goldberg Agreement, wrongful termination, injunctive relief, and quantum meruit.
On December 26, 2019, the District Court ruled on several motions related to Navidea and MT and Dr. Goldberg that substantially limited the claims that Dr. Goldberg can pursue against Navidea and MT. Specifically, the District Court found that certain portions of Dr. Goldberg’s counterclaims against Navidea and third-party claims against MT failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Additionally, the District Court ruled that actions taken by Navidea and MT, including reconstituting the MT Board, replacing Dr. Goldberg with Mr. Latkin as Chief Executive Officer of MT, terminating the sublicense between Navidea and MT, terminating certain research projects, and allowing MT intellectual property to revert back to Navidea, were not breaches of the Goldberg Agreement.
The District Court also rejected Dr. Goldberg’s claim for wrongful termination as Chief Executive Officer of MT. In addition, the District Court found that Dr. Goldberg lacked standing to seek injunctive relief to force the removal of Dr. Claudine Bruck and Michael Rice from the MT Board, to invalidate all actions taken by the MT Board on or after November 29, 2018 (the date upon which Dr. Bruck and Mr. Rice were appointed by Navidea to the MT Board), or to reinstate the terminated sublicense between Navidea and MT.
In addition, the District Court found Navidea’s breach of fiduciary duty claim against Dr. Goldberg for conduct occurring more than three years prior to the filing of the complaint to be time-barred and that Dr. Goldberg is entitled to an advancement of attorneys’ fees solely with respect to that claim. To avoid further litigation expenses, the Company agreed to indemnify Dr. Goldberg solely with respect to the breach of fiduciary duty claim.
On January 31, 2020, Goldberg filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint to add back in claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, quantum meruit and injunctive relief. On April 1, 2020, the District Court denied Dr. Goldberg’s motion for leave to amend in its entirety.
On January 27, 2020, Dr. Goldberg filed a motion seeking additional advancement from Navidea for fees in connection with the New York Action and the Delaware Action. Navidea opposed the motion and the District Court referred the matters to a Magistrate Judge. On July 9, 2020, the Magistrate Judge issued her Report and Recommendation which recommended that: (1) the District Court decline to exercise jurisdiction over Dr. Goldberg’s motion as it pertained to expenses and fees incurred in defense of the Delaware Action; (2) the District Court decline to award any fees to Dr. Goldberg for the breach of fiduciary duty without additional motion practice on the issue; (3) the District Court find that Dr. Goldberg is entitled to advancement of his expenses and fees reasonably incurred in the defense of the remainder of the New York action subject to Dr. Goldberg’s posting of an undertaking; and (4) establish a protocol by which Dr. Goldberg could establish the amounts due for advancement.
On August 24, 2020, in connection with Dr. Goldberg’s motion for advancement, the District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation and found that while Dr. Goldberg was not being granted advancement of fees and expenses incurred in connection with either the Delaware Action or the assertion of third-party claims against MT, the Court ruled that Dr. Goldberg was entitled to advancement for the defense of the remaining claims asserted against him by Navidea in the New York action. The Court adopted a protocol by which additional motion practice will occur to determine the appropriate amount of fees to be advanced. Once that decision is made by the Magistrate Judge, subject to review by the District Court, Navidea will need to advance those fees to Dr. Goldberg conditioned upon Dr. Goldberg agreeing to pay those fees back to Navidea if it is determined that he is not entitled to indemnification.
On May 27, 2021, the District Court ordered that: (1) Dr. Goldberg be awarded $14,955 for indemnification for his attorneys’ fees for his defense of the breach of fiduciary duty claim; (2) Dr. Goldberg be advanced $for his attorneys’ fees subject to repayment; (3) Navidea should not be required to indemnify or advance any of the costs sought by Dr. Goldberg; (4) Dr. Goldberg is not entitled to advancement for the prosecution of his counterclaims and third-party claims; (5) Dr. Goldberg’s motion to hold Navidea in contempt be denied; and (6) Navidea should not be required to advance any additional fees or costs unless Dr. Goldberg presents his time records and costs in compliance with the District Court’s orders. The Company has made the payments ordered by the District Court.
On August 6, 2021, the Company moved for reconsideration of its obligations to advance fees. On October 14, 2021, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Navidea’s motion for reconsideration be denied. On March 7, 2022, the District Court adopted the Report and Recommendation in part and permitted Dr. Goldberg to seek advancement for his fees incurred in defense of his claims since September 1, 2020. On April 8, 2022, Dr. Goldberg submitted a fee application seeking advancement of $for attorneys’ fees and disbursements for the time period September 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022. On March 15, 2023, the District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation that Dr. Goldberg’s application for fees allegedly incurred in connection with his defense of Navidea’s claims be denied as a sanction for failure to comply with prior court orders and that his application for fees incurred in connection with the successful prosecution of his prior fee applications be approved in the amount of $12,600. On March 17, 2023, the District Court confirmed that no further claims for advancement will be accepted by the Court in light of its March 15, 2023 Order. The Company has made the payment ordered by the District Court.
Fact discovery and expert discovery in the New York Action have been completed. The Company moved to disqualify Dr. Goldberg’s damages expert. On November 9, 2022, the District Court issued an opinion granting the Company’s motion in part and precluding Dr. Goldberg’s damages expert from testifying on all but two issues. The Court has set a deadline of July 13, 2023 for the time by which the parties must submit their motions for summary judgment.
NYSE American Continued Listing Standards
On January 28, 2022, the Company received a notification from the NYSE American LLC (the “NYSE American”) stating that the Company was not in compliance the $6.0 million stockholders’ equity requirement of Section 1003(a)(iii) of the NYSE American Company Guide. As required by the NYSE American, the Company submitted a plan to the NYSE American by February 28, 2022 advising of actions it has taken or will take to regain compliance with the continued listing standards by July 28, 2023.
On April 8, 2022, the Company received a notification (the “Acceptance Letter”) from the NYSE American that the Company’s plan to regain compliance was accepted. The Acceptance Letter also stated that the Company is also not in compliance with Sections 1003(a)(i) and 1003(a)(ii) of the NYSE American Company Guide, which require an issuer to have stockholders’ equity of (i) $2.0 million or more if it has reported losses from continuing operations and/or net losses in two out of its three most recent fiscal years, and (ii) $4.0 million or more if it has reported losses from continuing operations in three out of its four most recent fiscal years. The Acceptance Letter noted that the Company had stockholders’ equity of $624,743 as of December 31, 2021 and has reported net losses from continuing operations in its five most recent fiscal years ended December 31, 2021.
The NYSE American has granted the Company a plan period through July 28, 2023 to regain compliance with Sections 1003(a)(i), (ii) and (iii). If the Company is not in compliance with all continued listing standards by that date or if the Company does not make progress consistent with the plan during the plan period, the NYSE American may commence delisting procedures.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/disclosureRef