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Matthew O’Hara and Peter Pederson Obtain Victory in $360 Million “Stock Drop” ERISA Class Action

October 6, 2011

Matthew J. O’Hara and Peter E. Pederson, Partners in the Chicago office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, obtained a victory on behalf of a former chief financial officer (CFO) of a Fortune 250 company in a “stock drop” ERISA class action. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, involved claims that company officers who were also plan fiduciaries of a company benefit plan that invested in the company’s stock violated ERISA by failing to disclose accounting errors in the company’s financial statements. Finding that all claims against the former CFO (and claims against the company relating to his conduct) were time-barred because there was no evidence that he fraudulently concealed anything from the auditors of the company’s profit-sharing plan, the court granted summary judgment in favor of Hinshaw’s client. Plaintiffs had sought more than $360 million in claimed damages.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a national law firm with approximately 500 attorneys providing coordinated legal services across the United States and in London. Hinshaw lawyers partner with businesses, governmental entities and individuals to help them effectively address legal challenges and seize opportunities. Founded in 1934, the firm represents clients in complex litigation and in regulatory and transactional matters.