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Firefighter Pension Fund in Florida Reaches Multi-Million Dollar Shareholder Lawsuit Settlement With Investor Carl Icahn

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-49-13

In May of 2024, Bloomberg Law News reported that a firefighter pension fund in Florida has reached a multi-million dollar settlement of a shareholder lawsuit involving famed billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The settlement agreement brings an end to a multi-year shareholder derivative lawsuit involving the Xerox Corp. takeover of HP Inc. Here, our West Palm Beach shareholder lawyers discuss the case in more detail.

Background: Understanding Shareholder Derivative Claims 

To start, it is useful to understand the basics of shareholder derivative claims. With a direct action, a shareholder is suing on their own behalf. In contrast, a shareholder derivative lawsuit is a legal action brought by shareholders on behalf of a corporation against its executives or directors.

Put another way, a derivative action is a type of lawsuit that allows shareholders to step in when the corporation’s leaders fail to address wrongdoing that could harm the company. Most often, the objective is often to recover damages and/or force changes in corporate governance.

There are strict procedural requirements for bringing this type of lawsuit. To file such a claim, shareholders must prove that they made a formal demand on the corporation’s board to address the issue or that making such a demand would be futile.

 Shareholder Derivative Suit Initiated Over Corporate Takeover 

In 2019, the Miami Firefighters’ Relief and Pension Fund filed a lawsuit against famed investor Carl Icahn. Notably, the Miami Firefighters’ Relief and Pension Fund is one of the largest pension funds in South Florida. Along with other things, the claim alleged that Mr. Icahn engaged in insider trading, generating profits for himself at the expense of shareholders. The pension fund accused Icahn of buying a significant amount of HP stock knowing that Xerox, where Icahn was a major shareholder, was planning to make a substantial offer to buy HP. This insider knowledge allegedly allowed Icahn to profit significantly from the stock’s price increase once the takeover bid was announced.

Settlement Agreement Reached Between Pension Fund and Carl Icahn 

As was recently reported by Bloomberg Law News, the Miami Firefighters’ Relief and Pension Fund reached a settlement with Carl Icahn. The agreement, once approved by a court, brings an end to a long-standing, now five-year legal battle. Ultimately, the shareholder lawsuit was settled for $2.2 million. It is less than the amount that was originally sought, but is still a significant sum.

 Get Help From a Shareholder Dispute Attorney in Palm Beach County

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach shareholder dispute lawyer is devoted to protecting the rights and interests of clients. If you have any questions or concerns about your options, our commercial litigation team is more than ready to help. Our firm takes on all types of cases, including complex shareholder derivative lawsuits. Call us now or contact us online today for a strictly confidential case review. We handle shareholder disputes in Palm Beach County and across Florida.



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