According to the Company’s FORM 10-K For The Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2000, on October 2, 2000, the court dismissed the amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and on November 14, 2000 rejected the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the prior dismissal. The court dismissed the action, and the time for filing an appeal expired with no appeal having been filed. The case is therefore terminated in favor of the Company and the other defendants.
As summarized by the same SEC filing, eight complaints were filed against the Company and certain of its officers and directors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of a purported class consisting of persons who purchased Common Stock of the Company, Newell Co. or Rubbermaid Incorporated during the period from October 21, 1998 through September 3, 1999 or exchanged shares of Rubbermaid Common Stock for the Company's Common Stock as part of the Newell Rubbermaid merger. The complaints alleged that during this time period the defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading statements concerning the Company's financial condition and results of operations. After the cases were consolidated before a single judge, the court appointed lead plaintiffs for the uncertified class. Plaintiffs then filed a consolidated amended class action complaint consisting of six counts asserting claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. All defendants moved to dismiss that amended complaint.
The original complaint alleges that the company disseminated false and misleading information about its current and projected financial health. The complaint further alleges that Rubbermaid's salespersons were giving customers large discounts, and that such information was material for analyzing earnings.