Enron shareholder class action suit to be tried in April despite certification appeal

Enron shareholder class action suit to be tried in April despite certification appeal

[JURIST] The Enron shareholder derivative lawsuit [class action website] will be tried in April as previously scheduled, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. US District Judge Melinda Harmon [Houston Chronicle profile] denied a motion filed by defendants Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc. and Credit Suisse Group [corporate websites] to delay the trial pending the outcome of an appeal to the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website]. Judge Harmon certified the class [opinion and order, PDF] in June 2006, and Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse appealed to the Fifth Circuit, alleging the certification should be thrown out because it allows Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse to be held liable for actions taken by other defendants even though they had no actual knowledge of those actions. Oral arguments [AP report] before the three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit were held on Monday. Reuters has more.

In January, Harmon dismissed seven defendants [JURIST report] from the class action suit, including late ex-Enron CEO Ken Lay.