[JURIST] A federal district judge has ruled that United Airlines [corporate website] employees can proceed with a class action lawsuit against the beleagered airline's employee stock ownership plan and the plan trustees, attorneys for the employees said Tuesday. The suit was filed in 2003, but District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan certified the lawsuit, which includes about 70,000 employees, as a class action on Thursday. According to the complaint, the employee stock ownership plan committee and the plan trustee, State Street Bank [corporate website], knew that United's stock was unstable, but continued to hold the stock as the plan lost billions of dollars. Read the judge's order [text, PDF]. Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the firm representing the employees, has a press release on the certification. Reuters has more.