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NEW YORK - (Mealey's) Shareholders and defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a chemical company, certain of its officers and directors and others have agreed to a $37 million settlement of all federal securities law claims, according to court documents made available on Aug. 7 (In re Tronox, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 09-6220, S.D. N.Y.).
(Motion for preliminary approval of settlement available. Document #57-120813-110B. Stipulation of settlement available. Document #57-120813-111B.)
According to the stipulation of settlement, which is subject to court approval, defendants Tronox Inc. and certain of its officers and directors, including director Robert M. Wohleber; Tronox's controlling entity, Kerr-McGee Corp., and certain of its officers and directors, including CEO Luke R. Corbett and General Counsel Gregory F. Pilcher; Kerr-McGee successor-in-interest Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and certain of its officers and directors; and Tronox outside auditor Ernst & Young LLP (E&Y) will pay the settlement amount in exchange for a release of all claims against them.
Shareholders filed a first amended class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of Tronox common stock from Nov. 21, 2005, to Jan. 12, 2009.
Exchange Act Claims
The shareholders allege that the defendants misrepresented Tronox's business and financial condition in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In particular, the shareholders contend that the defendants misrepresented issues with Tronox's environmental remediation and related tort liabilities.
The defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the Section 20(a) claims, and Judge Shira A. Scheindlin preserved a majority of the claims in a Jan. 5, 2011, opinion granting in part and denying in part the motions.
The lead plaintiffs are represented by Solomon B. Cera, Gwendolyn R. Giblin and Thomas C. Bright of Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener in San Francisco.
Anadarko and KMG are represented by Jay B. Kasner, Susan Saltzstein and Joseph A. Matteo of Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York.
Defendants J. Michael Rauh, Corbett, Pilcher and Wohleber are represented by Gandolfo V. DiBlasi, Penny Shane and Jessica M. Klein of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York.
Defendants Thomas W. Adams, Mary Mikkelson and Marty J. Rowland are represented by Matthew D. Parrott of Katten Muchin Rosenman in New York and David H. Kistenbroker and Joni S. Jacobsen of Katten Muchin in Chicago.
E&Y is represented by Robert A. Atkins, Brad S. Karp and Claudia Hammerman of Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison in New York.
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