The University of California regents, on behalf of Enron Corp. investors, today petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision made March 19 by the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that prevented investors from pursuing a class-action suit against banks and securities firms for their alleged role in accounting fraud that led to the companys collapse, according to a university statement and the petition.
Investors whose interests are represented by University of California as lead plaintiff include the $60 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, and $16.3 billion San Francisco City and County Retirement System, the petition stated.
The defendants named in the petition are: Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc.; Merrill Lynch & Co.; Credit Suisse First Boston (USA) Inc.; Credit Suisse First Boston LLC; Pershing LLC; Barclays PLC; Barclays Bank PLC; and Barclays Capital Inc.
The university is represented by the law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins.
(W)e believe the law is broad enough to include parties who intentionally engage in deceptive conduct for the purpose of misleading investors, Charles Robinson, the universitys general counsel, said in the statement.
Total damages in the Enron fraud exceed $40 billion, the petition said. So far, UC has obtained more than $7.3 billion, including interest, for Enron investors, from other banks and securities and accounting firms, the statement said.
The university pension fund lost more than $144 million in the demise of Enron, the petition stated. The university, based in Oakland, Calif., oversees $71.5 billion in assets, including $57 billion in retirement funds.