According to the latest docket, the parties entered into settlement agreement on July 16, 2001. The settlement was in the amount of $4,500,000 in cash. On November 30, 2001, the court issued the Final Judgment and Order approving the settlement and granting the motion for attorney fees in the amount of $1,125,000.00 and reimbursement of expenses in the amount of $832,028.82. The case is now closed.
On March 31, 1997, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. On June 13, 1997, the plaintiffs filed an Amended Class Action Complaint. On July 11, 1997, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. On July 22, 1997, the Court issued the Order granting the motion for appointment of the Biagas Plaintiffs as Lead Plaintiffs and granting the motion for approval of Lead Counsel. On July 30, 1998, the Magistrate Stephen T. Brown issued the Report and Recommendation that the defendants’ March 31, 1997 motion to dismiss be denied. On September 15, 1999, Judge K. M. Moore issued the Order denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. The defendants filed a motion for reconsideration of that order, which was later denied on October 20, 1999. On October 15, 1999, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class which was granted on February 16, 2001. On March 22, 2001, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment which was later denied as motion due the pending settlement.
The original complaint alleges that "defendants disseminated numerous announcements concerning the purported financial success and rapidly expanding sales of the Company. Defendants also made numerous positive pronouncements concerning the Company's distribution systems, marketing efforts and product offerings." The complaint alleges that these statements were materially false and misleading because plaintiffs failed to disclose "a series of problems relating to its rapidly expanding inventories, deteriorating sales, and limited product offerings, as well as problems in its distribution facilities and marketing efforts." The complaint also alleges that while these misrepresentations inflated the price of the Company's stock, insiders sold over $5 million of their holdings. The Company also allegedly $100 million of convertible debentures to private investors during the class period. The complaint alleges that the Company's stock price was as high as $32.50 per share during the class period and that it declined to below $7.00 after corrective disclosures were made. Based on these allegations, the complaint asserts violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.