A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit against Oracle Corp. by Nursing Home Pension Fund, Local 144, which claimed CEO Lawrence Ellison made false statements to boost the stock price during an economic downturn following the technology bubble almost 10 years ago.
The New York-based pension fund did not develop sufficient evidence to reasonably show that their investment losses were caused by the market's reaction to alleged fraud by Mr. Ellison and other Oracle executives, “as opposed to Oracle's poor financial health generally,” wrote Judge Richard C. Tallman of the U.S. Appellate Court in San Francisco, upholding the June 2009 dismissal by U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The alleged losses for members of the class action involved billions of dollars from a drop in market capitalization, said Sanford Svetcov, partner with the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, which represented the nursing home fund, the lead plaintiff in the case.
The pension fund's specific investment losses “have yet to be determined by the court,” Mr. Svetcov said, who had no further details on the fund's Oracle investment.
The size of the pension fund could not be learned by press time.
Pension fund officials and their attorneys were “disappointed” by the ruling, Mr. Svetcov said in an interview.
They are considering an appeal to the full appellate court, Mr. Svetcov said, noting it has to be filed by Nov. 30.
The suit, filed in March 2001, alleged the losses occurred between Dec. 14, 2000, and March 1, 2001.