Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

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COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

NOTE 13: COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

 

Lease Commitments

 

The future minimum lease payments due subsequent to June 30, 2017 under all non-cancelable operating and capital leases for the next five years are as follows:

 

Year Ending December 31,   Operating Leases
Amount
 
2017 (remainder of year)   $ 4,930  
Total minimum lease payments   $ 4,930  

 

The total rent expense for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016 was $7,395 and $18,540, respectively and $78,600 and $157,200, respectively. Rent expense was included in general and administrative expenses for both years.  

 

Litigation and Contingencies

 

On October 10, 2013, a putative securities class action complaint, captioned Cook v. Atossa Genetics, Inc., et al., No. 2:13-cv-01836-RSM, was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against us, certain of the Company’s directors and officers and the underwriters of the Company’s November 2012 initial public offering.  The complaint alleges that all defendants violated Sections 11 and 12(a)(2), and that the Company and certain of its directors and officers violated Section 15, of the Securities Act by making material false and misleading statements and omissions in the offering’s registration statement, and that we and certain of our directors and officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20A of the Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by making false and misleading statements and omissions in the registration statement and in certain of our subsequent press releases and SEC filings with respect to our NAF specimen collection process, our ForeCYTE Breast Health Test and our MASCT device. This action seeks, on behalf of persons who purchased our common stock between November 8, 2012 and October 4, 2013, inclusive, damages of an unspecific amount.

 

On February 14, 2014, the Court appointed plaintiffs Miko Levi, Bandar Almosa and Gregory Harrison (collectively, the “Levi Group”) as lead plaintiffs, and approved their selection of co-lead counsel and liaison counsel. The Court also amended the caption of the case to read In re Atossa Genetics, Inc. Securities Litigation No. 2:13-cv-01836-RSM. An amended complaint was filed on April 15, 2014. The Company and other defendants filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint on May 30, 2014. The plaintiffs filed briefs in opposition to these motions on July 11, 2014. The Company replied to the opposition brief on August 11, 2014. On October 6, 2014 the Court granted defendants’ motion dismissing all claims against Atossa and all other defendants. The Court’s order provided plaintiffs with a deadline of October 26, 2014 to file a motion for leave to amend their complaint and the plaintiffs did not file such a motion by that date. On October 30, 2014, the Court entered a final order of dismissal. On November 3, 2014, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal with the Court and have appealed the Court’s dismissal order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appeal was fully-briefed and oral arguments were held on May 18, 2017. We are currently awaiting a decision from the Court.

 

The Company believes this lawsuit is without merit and plans to defend itself vigorously; however, failure by the Company to obtain a favorable resolution of the claims set forth in the complaint could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. Currently, the amount of such material adverse effect cannot be reasonably estimated, and no provision or liability has been recorded for these claims as of June 30, 2017. The costs associated with defending and resolving the lawsuit and ultimate outcome cannot be predicted. These matters are subject to inherent uncertainties and the actual cost, as well as the distraction from the conduct of the Company’s business, will depend upon many unknown factors and management’s view of these may change in the future.