| June 26
June 26 Hewlett-Packard Co has won the
dismissal of a lawsuit accusing the computer maker of securities
fraud for misleading shareholders about its commitment to ethics
while its chief executive was allegedly engaging in sexual
In August 2013, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San
Francisco had thrown out an earlier version of the lawsuit, and
on Wednesday dismissed a revised version that he said failed to
address his concerns. Wednesday's dismissal was with prejudice,
meaning the lawsuit cannot be brought again.
Before the case arose, HP had updated its Standards of
Business Conduct following a 2006 scandal over news leaks.
The lawsuit stemmed from the sudden August 2010 departure of
Chief Executive Mark Hurd amid allegations that he had harassed
an independent consultant, Jodie Fisher. Hurd, who is now
president of Oracle Corp, had won wide
credit at HP for improving the company's fortunes.
An internal HP probe ultimately cleared Hurd of harassment
but found that he filed inaccurate expense reports.
Plaintiffs led by the Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union
Local 338 Retirement Fund of Mineola, New York claimed that HP's
share price was inflated during the period of Hurd's alleged
They said the Palo Alto, California-based company's
statements about its business conduct standards led them to
believe Hurd was in compliance.
Last August, Tigar called HP's statements too vague and
general to justify liability, but gave the plaintiffs another
chance to make their case.
On Wednesday, he said the new complaint offered more detail
about Hurd's conduct and whether it violated HP's rules, but
still did not show that Hurd's or HP's representations amounted
to a "warranty of ethical compliance" with the SBC.
"Accordingly," Tigar wrote, "plaintiff has not stated a
securities law violation." He also said Hurd's failure to
disclose his non-compliance with the SBC was not a "materially
Ira Press, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately
respond on Thursday to requests for comment. HP did not
immediately respond to similar requests. Oracle spokeswoman
Deborah Hellinger declined to comment.
The case is Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union Local
338 Retirement Fund v. Hewlett-Packard Co et al, U.S. District
Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-04115.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)