NOVEMBER 28, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- JDSU says that a jury has ruled in favor of the company on all claims in a securities class action lawsuit filed by Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (CRPTF) as lead plaintiff against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland.
The CRPTF consists of six Connecticut state pension and eight state trust funds. The CRPTF holds assets on behalf of the State Employees' Retirement Fund, Teachers' Retirement Fund, Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund, Probate Court Retirement Fund, Judges' Retirement Fund, State's Attorneys' Retirement Fund, Soldiers' Sailors' & Marines' Fund, Endowment for the Arts, Agricultural College Fund, Ida Eaton Cotton Fund, Andrew Clark Fund, School Fund, Hopemead Fund, and Police & Fireman's Survivors' Benefit Fund. It administers pensions for approximately 160,000 state employees.
The CRPTF had filed the suit in hopes of recouping at least some of the $65 million it lost in JDSU investments when the telecom bubble burst. The defendants in the trial included the company and four former executives: ex-CEOs Kevin Kalkhoven and Jozef Straus, ex-CFO Anthony Muller, and ex-COO Charles Abbe. The suit claimed the defendants committed securities fraud and conducted insider trading when selling more than $350 million in stock before the stock tanked. The case was filed in 2002 but didn't go to trial until this past October 22.
"We are extremely gratified by the jury's verdict, as we have always believed that the plaintiffs' claims were without merit," said Kevin Kennedy, JDSU's president and CEO. "We will continue focusing our full attention on developing innovative products and delivering on the significant potential of our business model to create shareholder value."
The company noted that while the jury's decision in this case is "a significant positive milestone," it continues to defend itself in the securities class action and related litigation.