Court weighs securities fraud class-action cases

By Sam Hananel, Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 5, 2014 at 1:20 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court could make it tougher for investors to band together to sue corporations for securities fraud.

The justices hear arguments Wednesday in an appeal by Halliburton Co. that seeks to block a class-action lawsuit claiming the energy services company inflated its stock price.

Justices threw out the company's first attempt to thwart the lawsuit in 2011. But Halliburton is now urging the court to overturn a key 1988 precedent that sparked a surge of securities-related class-action lawsuits against publicly traded companies and has led to billions in settlements.

A group of investors says it lost money when Halliburton's stock price dropped after revelations the company misrepresented revenues, understated its liability in asbestos litigation and overstated the benefits of a merger.

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Sam Hananel

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