Mighty Merrill Lynch bogs down in legal troubles
Securities Arbitration, 10 October 2002
Douglas and Deborah Millar are about to become $7.7 million richer. The Pennsylvania couple didn’t buy a state lottery ticket. Instead, they played another popular game of chance: Sue Your Broker.
In granting one of the largest awards on record six weeks ago, a private arbitration panel ruled that Merrill Lynch failed to advise the Millars on how to protect the value of a stake in former Internet high-flier FreeMarkets that in better times was worth $48 million. Merrill has appealed, but legal scholars say arbitration awards are rarely overturned.
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Foul Play Among the UAL Shorts?
Bloomberg, 8 October 2002
The shorts have crowded in on UAL in a big way, helping to push the parent of financially troubled United Airlines much closer to bankruptcy. The stock has nosedived from $20 a year ago to $2 on Oct. 8. Right after US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 11, UAL (UAL ) announced that it, too, might have to resort to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. UAL shares were then trading at $4.
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Manulife lawsuit certified a class action
JOHN PARTRIDGE, 02 October 2002
A lawsuit alleging that a key unit of Manulife Financial Corp. wrongly excluded thousands of former policy holders in Barbados from payouts worth about $100-million when the company went public in 1999 has been certified as a class action by an Ontario judge.
In a ruling released Monday, Mr. Justice Ian Nordheimer of the Ontario Superior Court said the case “raises an issue” as to whether Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. “actively misled a regulator” about its plans to demutualize or go public when it won approval to sell its Barbadian business in 1996. The action, launched last December on behalf of four representative plaintiffs by Windsor, Ont., lawyer Harvey Strosberg, also raises questions about “the degree, if any, to which a corporation has a duty to protect individuals who have a financial interest” in it “regarding future plans of the corporation,” Judge Nordheimer said.
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