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 August 7 (In re Tronox, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 09-6220, S.D.
N.Y.; See January 2011, Page 10).
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
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
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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