According to the docket, on January 16, 2004, the Court entered the Final Judgment and Order signed by U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley. The Court approved the Settlement set forth in the Stipulation and finds that said Settlement is, in all respects, fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Class, and within the authority of the parties. The Court dismissed the action on the merits and with prejudice. The Court approved the Plan and Distribution set forth in the Stipulation, and Lead plaintiff's Counsel were awarded fees of $173,250 (33%) and disbursements of $23,000 to be paid from the Settlement Fund.
As described in the Notice of Pendency, on February 15, 2000, the Court issued an order appointing Lead Plaintiff and approving its choice of Lead Counsel in this Action. On November 25, 2003, Lead Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a stipulation of settlement settling the claims against Defendants for $525,000 and stipulating to the certification of a settlement class of all purchasers of Aid Auto stock during the period May 15, 1996 through October 21, 1998, inclusive. One of the primary considerations for the Lead Plaintiff was the fact that Defendant Grant Thornton would only be responsible for its “proportionate share” of liability and may have
been found liable for an amount lower than the Settlement and that individual Defendants have limited assets from which to satisfy a judgment.
The original complaint charges the company and certain of its officers with violating the federal securities laws and common law. The lawsuit alleges the defendants materially overstated the company's results for fiscal 1997 and the first and second quarters of fiscal 1998. AidAuto common stock, which sold for more than $4 per share during the contested period, became virtually worthless after the alleged fraudulent acts were uncovered.