Current and former Enron Corp. employees have won approval of a $69 million partial settlement of claims against company directors and retirement fiduciaries. The settlement, approved Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Melinda Harmon in Houston, covers up to 24,000 current and former employees who will receive payments in proportion to the amount of Enron stock they had in the plan, said Derek Loeser, a partner at Keller Rohrback and a trial counsel in the case.
The partial settlement is on behalf of all participants in Enron's ESOP, savings plan and cash balance plan from Jan. 1, 1995, through June 7, 2002, according to the EnronERISA.com website, run by Keller Rohrback.
Employees saw their retirement money evaporate as the value of Enron shares sank to pennies after the company's accounting irregularities and other significant problems surfaced.
Overall, the settlements total roughly $86.5 million — an $85 million insurance settlement, where the $69 million comes from, and another $1.5 million from a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Enron employees also stand to receive additional payments. The latest settlement does not release claims against Enron Corp., Northern Trust Co., Arthur Andersen LLP, former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, the judge said in her 45-page decision.