July 2, 2009

Bar Orders And Loss Causation

There have been two recent appellate decisions of note.

(1) In In re HealthSouth Corp. Sec. Litig., 2009 WL 1675398 (11th Cir. June 17, 2009), the court addressed the scope of the judicial bar order contained in the partial settlement between HealthSouth and the plaintiffs. The court found that the contractural claims by HealthSouth's former CEO (a non-settling defendant) against the company for (a) indemnification of any amounts he might pay in settlement of his liability to the plaintiffs, and (b) advancement of fees in connection with the litigation, were properly extinguished. (The D&O Diary has a post on the decision that questions the court's policy rationale for barring the advancement of fees claim.)

Holding: Affirmed.

(2) In Alaska Electrical Pension Fund v. Flowserve Corp., 2009 WL 1740648 (5th Cir. June 19, 2009), the court considered what type of corrective disclosure was necessary to establish loss causation. The defendants argued that "a 'fact-for-fact' disclosure of information that fully corrected prior misstatements" was necessary, while the plaintiffs asserted that it was sufficient to point to disclosures that revealed the "true financial condition" of the company. In a per curiam opinion by a panel that included retired Supreme Court Justice O'Connor, however, the court found that "the true standard lies in the middle." To establish loss causation the "disclosed information must reflect part of the 'relevant truth' - the truth obscured by the fraudulent statements," but the information can leak out over time and a "fact-for-fact" disclosure is not required.

Holding: Reversed and remanded for further proceedings consistent with opinion.

Posted by Lyle Roberts at July 2, 2009 11:49 PM | TrackBack
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