According to the docket, on July 6, 2004, a Stipulation of Settlement was filed. The settlement was in the amount of $10 million. On July 12, 2004, the Court entered the Order by U.S. District Joseph F. Anderson Jr. preliminarily approving the settlement. On October 21, 2004, the Court entered the Final Judgment awarding attorney fees in the amount of $3,333,333 and reimbursement of expenses in the amount of $494,663.49. The Class Representatives were collectively awarded $12,500 and the case was closed.
There was a previous partial settlement with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP defendants, which settled for $14 million. The Final Judgment of Dismissal with Prejudice was entered on July 11, 2003.
The original complaint alleges that Laidlaw and certain of its directors and executive officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that the defendants issued materially false and misleading financial statements contained in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and press releases that, inter alia, overstated the Company's assets, income and earnings per share during the Class Period. In a series of announcements beginning on March 6, 2000 and ending on March 13, 2000, it was announced that the Company's affiliate, Safety-Kleen Corp. ("Safety-Kleen"), had placed on "administrative leave" its top three executive officers, because of discovered "accounting irregularities." These events prompted the Company's auditors to withdraw their audit opinion on Safety-Kleen (formerly Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.) for the past three fiscal years ending August 31, 1999, 1998 and 1997. During the Class Period, Safety-Kleen accounted for a significant portion of Laidlaw's assets, revenues and operating income and there were interlocking directors and officers. Finally, it was announced that the SEC had commenced an investigation of Safety-Kleen. On this news, between March 6, 2000 and March 14, 2000, the Company's stock fell almost $3.00 per share or 75% on extremely heavy trading volume to close at $1.0625 per share on March 14, 2000. The Company's common stock had traded as high as $16.625 per share on the NYSE during the Class Period.
NOTE: Both Laidlaw and Safety-Kleen have filed for bankruptcy and are not parties to this Action.