On January 7, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story dismissed with prejudice the securities class action against Mirant Corp., ending a six-year legal battle. Shareholders alleged that Mirant had illegally manipulated utility prices to reap profits and inflate its stock, according to the Fulton County Daily Report. The court found, however, that the lawsuit “lacks an explanation and legal basis. The blanket characterization of business transactions as illegal does not make them so.”
Plaintiffs’ counsel Meryl W. Roper of Chitwood Harley Harnes said “[w]e are evaluating our options, including whether we will appeal the decision.”
According to the Fulton County Daily Report article, in its six year history the case passed through five federal judges, all of whom recused themselves, before it was assigned to Story. In addition, Mirant’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection in July 2003 helped prolong the litigation.
Judge Story also ruled that that he would not consider a motion to further amend the complaint, writing that “[j]ustice does not require district courts to waste their time on hopeless cases, and leave may be denied where the court determines that amendment will be futile.”