HP Shareholders Denied Fraud Claims

U.S. District Judge, Jon Tigar, has dismissed a lawsuit against HP and its former CEO Mark Hurd in San Francisco.

According to the Chicago Tribune, HP was found not to have violated securities laws despite making a commitment to be “open, honest, and direct in all our dealings” because such statements were too vague and general.

This means shareholders—led by the Cement & Concrete Workers District Council Pension Fund of New York—cannot pursue fraud claims over Hurd’s alleged violations of HP’s standards of business conduct.

Hurd resigned from HP in August 2010 after allegations he had sexually harassed independent consultant Jodie Fisher. An internal HP probe cleared Hurd of the harassment charge, but found that he had filed inaccurate expense reports.

The departure of Hurd, who had been widely credited with improving HP’s fortunes, led to a drop in the company’s share price. The Tribune says “HP’s market value, which at the time topped $100 billion, has since fallen by roughly half, Reuters data show.”

The plaintiffs were given 30 days by Judge Tigar to amend their complaint. HP and Hurd, 56—who is now president of Oracle Corp.—have each declined to comment.

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