Shareholders Ask Court To Approve $2.75 Million Derivative Suit Settlement

by Tara Arick on August 27, 2013 · 0 comments

in Contract Law,Corporate Counsel

Plaintiffs in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against a company’s directors and officers asked a Washington federal court on Aug. 22 to give final approval to a $ 2.75 million settlement of the case (Alan Hopkins v. HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-00910, W.D. Wash.).

Alan Hopkins, derivatively on behalf of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries Inc., (HQSM) says that certain directors and officers of HQSM engaged in widespread and long-lasting wrongful conduct, including the manipulation of company accounts and customer positions to materially overinflate the company’s financial performance.

Hopkins sued the directors and officers on May 31, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, bringing claims of breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, contribution and indemnification, abuse of control and waste of corporate assets.

The directors and officers named in the suit are Norbert Sporns, Lillian Wang Li, Harry Wang Hua, Kevin M. Fitzsimmons, Fred Bild, Daniel Too and Jean-Pierre Dallaire. HQSM is the nominal defendant.

Along with Hopkins, other plaintiffs in the suit are Gene Niksich, Farida Corkery-Smith, Cem Karsan and William Hayman.

Settlement

In their motion for final approval of settlement, the plaintiffs say, “The Settlement resolves the derivative claims pending in this Court.”

“Plaintiffs submit that the Settlement provides an excellent result for HQSM shareholders and easily satisfies the ‘fair, adequate, and reasonable’ standard for final approval,” the plaintiffs contend.

The plaintiffs note that the settlement consists of HQSM’s insurers agreeing to pay $ 2.75 million to HQSM shareholders.

“The substantial benefits achieved through the Settlement fully justify this Court’s final approval of the Settlement,” the plaintiffs argue.

Hua and Too are not represented by counsel.

Counsel

Hopkins is represented by Lionel Z. Glancy, Louis Boyarsky and Robert V. Prongay of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg in Los Angeles and Clifford A. Cantor of Clifford A. Cantor Attorney at Law in Sammamish, Wash.

Niksich is represented by Cantor, Brett D. Stecker, Jeffrey J. Ciarlanto, Joseph M. Profy and Robert B. Weiser of Weiser Law Firm in Wayne, Pa.

Corkery-Smith is represented by Cantor, Beth A. Keller of Faruqi & Faruqi in New York, Michael J. Hynes of Faruqi & Faruqi in Jenkintown, Pa., and Roger M. Townsend of Breskin Johnson & Townsend in Seattle.

Karsan and Hayman are represented by Cantor and John W. Hathaway of John W. Hathaway Attorney at Law in Seattle.

Defense Counsel

Sporns, Li, Bild, Fitzsimmons and Dallaire are represented by Andrea Delgadillo Ostrovsky of Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Kakes in Seattle, Jeremy E. Roller of Yarmuth Wilsdon Calfo in Seattle and Mark D. Ashley, Marcelo Blackburn and Thomas J. McCormack of Chadbourne & Parke in New York.

HQ Sustainable is represented by Michael D. Handler, Peter M. Ryan and Robert W. Hayes of Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia.

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