U.S. Investors in Paramalat — the disturbingly long-life milk producer — have settled their lawsuit with Deloitte and Grant Thornton for $8.5 million and $6.5 million respectively.
Personally, if you make the decision to be associated with a company that consciously screws with the natural dairy production of a bovine, we’d say you’re on your own. However, this is America, where if you lose an asston of money on an investment (despite the morally ambiguous nature of said investment, not to mention the shiesty management), you sue.
The case was brought by several funds on behalf of thousands of investors who said they lost money from Parmalat’s multi-billion-dollar fraud.
“It is very rare that worldwide coordinating audit networks enter into settlements like what we have,” said James Sabella, a lawyer at Grant & Eisenhofer PA in New York representing the investors, in an interview.
Lead plaintiffs include Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe Ltd, Cattolica Partecipazioni SpA, Capital & Finance Asset Management, Societe Moderne des Terrassements Parisiens and Solotrat, court documents show.
We don’t know about the statement that settlements are “very rare”. The Big 4 has paid out nearly $6 billion in settlements since 1999 and settlements this year have included Deloitte/American Homes and E&Y/Akai.
Regardless, the good news for the investors is at least they got something. The bad news is that it was far less than the amount they claimed to have lost:
The U.S. equity investors believed they suffered $138.2 million of damages, but Sabella said their claims might have been reduced by earlier settlements. He also said taking their case to a jury could have been “full of difficulties.”
A Deloitte spokesperson declined to comment pending the approval of the settlement by Judge Lewis Kaplan. Grant Thornton did not immediately return our email requesting comment.
This latest development in the
story that never ends Parmalat case is the first that we’ve reported that doesn’t involve the persistence of the company trying and failing and trying again to chase down banks and auditors for money related to the company’s bankruptcy in 2003. From the looks of it, we’ll be following these developments long into the next decade.