January 29, 2010

Vivendi Verdict

The big news today is the plaintiffs' victory in the Vivendi trial. A few key points about the verdict have already emerged:

(1) The jury agreed with the plaintiffs that Vivendi made 57 false or misleading statements concerning its financial status. As to damages, however, it found that the company's fraud was only responsible for half of the daily stock price inflation that plaintiffs had proposed.

(2) Counsel for the plaintiffs has stated that the overall damages in the case, depending on the number of shareholders who make claims and the amount of pre-judgement interest, could reach $9.3 billion.

(3) Perhaps surprisingly, the jury found that Vivendi's former CEO and CFO (i.e., the individual defendants) were not liable.

(4) Vivendi already has announced that it plans to appeal the jury's decision. Moreover, the release sets forth some of the proposed grounds, including "the Court’s decision to include French shareholders in the class, its rulings on jurisdiction and the plaintiffs’ erroneous method of proving and calculating damages, as well as the numerous incorrect rulings made during the course of the trial."

Additional coverage can be found in Reuters, the Associated Press, and the WSJ Law Blog.

Posted by Lyle Roberts at January 29, 2010 6:19 PM | TrackBack
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