Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. : Piedmont Office Realty Trust Reaches Agreements in Principle to Settle Class Action Litigation
Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE: PDM) today announced that it has reached agreements in principle to settle the two securities class action suits filed against the company and others in 2007 regarding disclosures in certain SEC filings. The settlements, which are subject to court approval following the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements and notice to the classes, will resolve the appeals and result in the final disposition of both cases.
The first suit challenged disclosures made in connection with Piedmont's April 2007 internalization transaction. On September 26, 2012, the Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, and entered judgment in Defendants' favor dismissing all claims.
The second suit challenged disclosures made in separate 2007 Piedmont SEC filings relating to a tender offer and a charter amendment. On August 27, 2012, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, and entered judgment in Defendants' favor dismissing all claims. Plaintiffs had recently appealed both judgments to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Under the terms of the proposed settlements, Plaintiffs will dismiss the appeals of both suits and release all Defendants from liability in exchange for a total cash payment by Piedmont and its insurers of $4.9 million in the first suit, and $2.6 million in the second suit. While Piedmont has denied the allegations of these suits and has denied any liability to Plaintiffs, Piedmont's non-defendant independent directors approved the settlements to eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further protracted litigation. The settlement amounts are within the respective limits of Piedmont's directors and officers' liability insurance policies, and Piedmont intends to seek recovery of the full amount of the settlements from its insurance carriers; however, the amounts that will ultimately be recovered from the carriers is uncertain.
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