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Target seeks to toss shareholder lawsuit over Pride backlash – Times of India

Target asked a Florida judge to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit that alleged the retailer ignored risks of offering LGBTQ-themed merchandise for Pride Month, saying the case has no basis.
The US retailer said in court papers filed Tuesday that investor Brian Craig merely disagrees with Target’s business decisions, and has no evidence the company misled investors about its approach to social and political risks.
“The securities laws protect investors against being defrauded; they are neither vehicles for expressing disapproval, nor do they insure investors against ordinary market losses,” Target said.
Craig is represented by America First Legal, a nonprofit headed by Stephen Miller, a former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump.
Attorneys for Craig did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
America First is one of a small number of conservative activist groups that have targeted major US corporations claiming they undertook diversity and inclusion efforts at the expense of shareholders.
The legal actions are part of a larger effort by Republican lawmakers and conservative groups seeking to push corporations away from progressive social causes.
In May, Target pulled some LGBTQ-themed merchandise linked to Pride Month, citing increased confrontations between shoppers and employees and incidents of products being thrown on the floor.
Craig sued in August, claiming the company’s board had falsely told investors it was monitoring social and political risks to the business.
He claimed Target’s board focused only on activist groups’ calls for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) measures and overlooked potential backlash from the big-box store’s customer base over the Pride campaign.
The lawsuit seeks damages for a decline in the price of Craig’s 216 Target shares.
Target said in its motion to dismiss the case that Craig had mischaracterized its statements and ignored the retailer’s warnings that its position on DEI could harm its reputation and lead to boycotts.
The company also said Craig could not have been misled by the statements he targeted in the complaint, as he purchased his Target shares before they were made.

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