NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 5 granted preliminary approval to a $10 million settlement between Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. and participants in its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who alleged that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by allowing the plan to invest in the company's stock when they knew that Bear Stearns' involvement in the securitized subprime mortgage market made it imprudent to do so (In re Bear Stearns Companies ERISA Litigation, No. 1:08-md-01963, 08 Civ. 2804, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the order within the full update.