According to the docket, on August 22, 2002, a Stipulation of Settlement was filed. By the Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Class Actions and Settlement Hearing, the proposed Settlement created a Class Settlement Fund in the amount of $42,875,000 in cash. On September 4, 2002, the Court entered the Preliminary Approval Order, and on December 19, 2002, the Court entered the Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal with Prejudice by U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.
The original complaint alleges that the Company, and some of its directors and executive officers, issued false and misleading financial statements contained in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and press releases that, (among other things), 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, the Company announced that its affiliate, Safety-Kleen Corp. ("Safety-Kleen"), had placed its top three executive officers on "administrative leave," because of discovered "accounting irregularities." These events prompted the Company's auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 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. Between October 15, 1997 and March 13, 2000, Safety-Kleen accounted for a significant portion of Laidlaw's assets, revenues and operating income, and there were overlapping directors and officers between the companies. Finally, it was announced that the SEC had begun an investigation of Safety-Kleen. On this news, the Company's bond rating was cut, and the value of the bonds plummeted. As of May 16, 2000, the price of Laidlaw bonds, which had traded as high as $1230 during the class period, had dropped to trading in the mid-to- low- $200's. On May 18, 2000, the Company declared an interest payment moratorium on all outstanding public debt of Laidlaw Inc.
NOTE: Both Laidlaw and Safety-Kleen have filed for bankruptcy and are not parties to this Action.