According to the law firm press release, the complaint alleges that Eaton issued false and misleading statements concerning its executives' involvement in a scheme to improperly influence a Mississippi state court judge in litigation the Company had initiated against rival manufacturer Frisby Aerospace, Inc. (the "Eaton-Frisby Litigation"). More specifically, the complaint alleges that Eaton managers knew, but repeatedly caused Eaton to deny, that Eaton had engaged Mississippi attorney Ed Peters, a politically connected go-between, to improperly influence Bobby DeLaughter, the presiding judge in the Eaton-Frisby Litigation. DeLaughter later recused himself from the Eaton case when he became embroiled in an unrelated lawsuit involving high-powered Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs. DeLaughter was sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting he lied to FBI agents about conversations he had with Peters in the Scruggs case. Judge Swan Yerger, who replaced Judge DeLaughter, subsequently dismissed Eaton's lawsuit against Frisby after deciding there was "clear and convincing" evidence that Eaton had hired Peters to secretly influence DeLaughter.
On May 31, 2012, Eaton's CEO and senior executives filed affidavits with the court, which admitted that Eaton had failed to turn over records showing that Eaton had improperly, and possibly illegally, attempted to influence Judge DeLaughter. On this news, Eaton shares declined $3.10, or 7.2%, to close at $40.24 on June 1, 2012.
On October 22, 2012, the Court issued an Order appointing lead plaintiff and approving the selection of lead counsel. On December 24, the lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated and Amended Complaint.
On August 9, 2013, the Court issued an Order granting the defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint. Judgment was entered in favor of the defendants. On September 6, the plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the August 9 Order and entered Judgment.
On October 16, 2013, the Court issued an Order denying Lead Plaintiff’s Motion Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) and 60(b) for Alteration of or Relief from the Court’s August 9, 2013 Order Dismissing the Complaint with Prejudice and Without the Right to Replead. On November 8th, Lead Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal of the October 16 Order.