Tuesday, September 09, 2008

U.S. Court Revives Enron Cases in Texas

A federal appeals court in New Orleans started the clock ticking again in Texas state court fraud cases targeting Enron Corp.'s former leaders and more than a dozen financial institutions accused of playing a role in the company's collapse.

Also Monday, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of Houston awarded almost $700 million in fees to plaintiffs firms in Enron securities litigation. Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP will recover the largest share of that award, which is the largest ever in a securities class action. The plaintiffs in the Enron suit, which was filed in 2001, have recovered $7.2 billion in settlements from bankers, accountants and lawyers alleged to have participated in a scheme to defraud Enron's investors.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals revived Texas state-court lawsuits aimed at the estate of the late Enron founder Ken Lay, other company leaders and financial institutions including Bank of America Corp., Credit Suisse First Boston, Barclays PLC and Citigroup Inc.

The financial institutions already have settled the state-court lawsuits, as have many individual defendants, said G. Sean Jez of Fleming & Associates, a Houston firm that brought the lawsuits. Mr. Jez said the amount of the state-court settlements hasn't been disclosed.


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