According to the firm's 10-K filing date 2/13/2001, the settlement of the following litigation became final in August 2000. In April and May 1997, five purported class action lawsuits were commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company and certain of its present and former officers and directors alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements. These lawsuits, which sought damages in an unspecified amount, were consolidated into a single proceeding captioned In re Health Management Systems, Inc. Securities Litigation (97 CIV-1865 (HB)) and a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed. Defendants made a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint, which was submitted to the Court on December 18, 1997 following oral argument. On May 27, 1998, the Consolidated Amended Complaint was dismissed by the Court for failure to state a claim under the federal securities laws, with leave for the plaintiffs to replead. On July 17, 1998, a Second Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which reiterated plaintiffs' allegations in their prior Complaint. On September 11, 1998, the Company and the other defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Complaint. The motion was fully briefed in late November 1998, at which time the motion was submitted to the Court. The consolidated proceeding was reassigned to another Judge. The Court heard oral argument on the motion to dismiss on June 11, 1999. Prior to rendering its decision on the motion to dismiss, the Court ordered the parties to attempt to settle the case, and meetings toward that end were conducted. On December 20, 1999, the parties reached a tentative agreement on the principal terms of settlement of the litigation against all defendants. Pursuant to the settlement understanding, without admitting any wrongdoing, certain of the defendants agreed to pay, in complete settlement of this lawsuit, the sum of $4,500,000, not less than 75 percent of which was to be paid by the Company's insurance carriers. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 1999, the Company has recorded a charge of $845,000 related to this settlement. As noted, on August 14, 2000, the Court signed an Order and Final Judgment approving the settlement.
The original complaint charged Health Management and certain officers and directors of the company during the relevant time period with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, by, among other things, misrepresenting material information concerning the company's rapidly eroding business condition throughout the Class Period. Because of the issuance of a series of false and misleading statements concerning Health Management's business and defendants' concealment of matters regarding the deteriorating business of the Company, the price of Health Management common stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period. While certain material information was concealed from investors, Health Management insiders unloaded large blocks of Health Management stock at artificially inflated prices, reaping huge profits in excess of $10 million.