Ohio has gained lead plaintiff status in a national class-action lawsuit against the former top officers and directors of telecommunications giant Global Crossing Ltd.
The status was granted by a federal district judge in New York City and gives Ohio more control over the outcome of the suit. Attorney General Betty Montgomery applied for lead plaintiff status in April.
“Our office has been working diligently this past year to obtain lead plaintiff status to ensure Ohio is able to control its own destiny in this lawsuit,” Montgomery said in a press release.
Ohio is suing to recover money lost by its public pension systems in Global Crossing, which filed for bankruptcy court protection in January. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System lost a combined $116 million, which the state alleges was due to the company’s shady practices.
Global Crossing stands accused of filing false and misleading statements that inflated the value of its stock, now worth pennies a share.
Ohio pulled out of similar suits against Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. in September when it couldn’t get lead plaintiff status, and is suing those companies itself.
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