Tyco pensioners granted class-action status

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, August 17, 2006

CONCORD, N.H.--U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro ruled Tuesday that employees of Tyco International who invested retirement savings in Tyco stock between Aug. 12, 1998, and July 25, 2002, may continue with a class-action lawsuit claiming the company deceived investors.
The plaintiffs claim Tyco, then headed by chief executive officer Dennis Kozlowski and chief financial officer Mark Swartz, provided inaccurate financial information that misrepresented the value of the company and made the stock seem like a better investment than it really was. Kozlowski and Swartz were convicted in New York last year on a number of fraud-related charges.
Tyco lawyers argued, according to the Associated Press, that the employees decided to invest in the company using different financial information, and didn't get all of their information from Tyco, and therefore should have to sue the company individually. The judge, ruling here because the company was headquartered here in New Hampshire at the time of the alleged fraud, disagreed, citing precedent that didn't require investors to prove they had all received the same information.
Getting class status is important for the plaintiffs, as the judgment would represent damage done to an entire class of people, rather than individuals, and people affected can apply for a portion of the judgment after the fact.