According to the latest docket posted, on June 1, 2001, the Fairness hearing was held before U.S. District Judge Milton I. Shadur. The settlement was approved, the court entered the Order and Final Judgment on June 4, 2001, and the action was dismissed with prejudice. The plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal, and on September 21, 2001, the Court entered the certified copy of the order from the 7th Circuit dismissing the appeal.
By the Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement, a hearing to consider whether the proposed settlement, in the amount of $45 million in cash plus accrued interest, is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved, and to consider the Plan of Allocation and the application of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, will be held before the Honorable Milton I. Shadur at Courtroom 2303 of the United States District Courthouse, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 219 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, at 9:30 a.m., on June 1, 2001.
According to the same Notice of settlement, on December 14, 1999, a federal securities class action lawsuit was filed against defendants in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division seeking class action status. In January and February 2000, a number of similar complaints were also filed in the Court, each seeking class action status. On February 18, 2000, the Court consolidated the cases and ordered the filing of a single consolidated complaint. The consolidated complaint (the “Complaint”) was filed subsequently on February 25, 2000. On or about March 10, 2000, defendants filed a joint motion to dismiss the Complaint (the “Motion”). On April 18, 2000, in open court, the Court denied defendants’ Motion. Defendants filed their answers to the Complaint on May 1, 2000. On May 2, 2000, defendants filed a joint motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) to certify the April 18 order for immediate appeal to the Court of Appeals. That motion was denied on May 5, 2000. Moreover, on May 3, 2000, the Court appointed Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP as lead counsel and conditionally approved as lead plaintiffs the American Radio Association Pension Plan, Detectives Endowment Association Annuity Fund, District 1199-J Pension Fund and Joint Industry-Engineers Union Local 30 Pension Fund. The Court also conditionally certified the Class. On May 31, 2000 the Court confirmed and made that certification unconditional. On June 14, 2000, the Court appointed the Pension Fund as lead plaintiff and approved their selection of Schoengold & Sporn, P.C. as Associate Lead Counsel.
The original complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws, including Sections 10(b) and 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by making false and misleading statements in press releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, concerning, among other things, the business, financial condition, earnings and prospects of Bank One and its wholly-owned subsidiary, First USA. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Bank One achieved its financial results from First USA's improperly recorded revenues from late fees, penalties and interest by failing to post credit card payments on time.
The complaint further alleges that after a series of partial disclosures beginning on August 24, 1999, and ending on November 10, 1999, the facts concerning defendants' conduct became widely known, including a report that First USA was the target of an investigation by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the stock price of Bank One plummeted from its Class Period high of $63.563 per share to close at $34.625 per share on November 10, 1999.