According to the docket posted, on June 6, 2003, a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement was filed. On October 17, 2003, the Court entered the Order signed by U.S. District Judge K. M. Moore preliminarily approving the settlement of the class action, certifying the settlement class, approving the form of notice to the settlement class and scheduling a final approval hearing. At the Settlement Fairness hearing held on January 13, 2004, the Court approved the settlement. The Court entered the Order and Final Judgment on January 14, 2004.
As reported by the Company’s FORM 10-K for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2002, on January 16, 2003, the parties executed a memorandum of understanding, which is an agreement in principle to settle the Stock Purchaser Complaint. The settlement is subject to the parties preparing a formal stipulation of settlement, performing confirmatory discovery and obtaining judicial approval. The memorandum of understanding requires certification of a temporary settlement class consisting of all persons who purchased our common stock between July 28, 1998 and February 28, 2000. The settlement amount agreed to is $3.4 million of which a substantial portion will be covered by insurance and which includes plaintiffs' attorneys fees. Allocation of the settlement monies amongst the class members is to be determined by the plaintiffs' counsel. Currently, no date has been set for the hearing confirming the settlement and the parties are finalizing the stipulation of settlement and discovery schedule.
Earlier, according to the SEC filing, several actions were filed against the Company and four of its executive officers on behalf of a purported class of persons who purchased the Company’s common stock between February 25, 1999 and February 16, 2000 alleging that statements made in our public filings relating to compliance with applicable safety regulations were in violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaints also allege violations by the individual defendants as controlling persons under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. In November 2000, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (the "Stock Purchaser Complaint"). The Stock Purchaser Complaint seeks certification of a class action, an award of unspecified compensatory damages, attorney and expert fees and costs. On September 12, 2002, a magistrate judge recommended that our motion to dismiss the Stock Purchaser Complaint be granted and that the plaintiffs' amended complaint be dismissed without prejudice. The magistrate judge found that the amended complaint failed properly to allege a cause of action under the securities laws. However, because it was dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiffs may file a new amended complaint.
The original Complaint charges Carnival and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the federal securities laws. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants issued false and misleading statements about the Company's business, financial condition, earnings and prospects and failed to disclose the extreme operational problems with which Carnival Cruise Line was faced. As a result of these false and misleading statements, the price of Carnival common stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period.