Partial Settlement Reached In UAL ESOP Suit

August 17, 2005 ( - United Airlines Employee Stock Ownership Plan trustees have agreed to settle on their part of a lawsuit brought against the plan by employees.

According to a company press release, the partial settlement in Summers, et al. v. UAL Corporation ESOP Committee, et al, calls for the committee’s insurer to pay $5.25 million less attorney’s fees and expenses to be divided among participants represented in the suit.   The ESOP Committee denies any wrongdoing.

State Street, also named in the suit, did not settle on its part, and Reuters reports that employees plan to take the case against State Street to trial.

The suit filed in 2003 claims the trustees breached their fiduciary duties to the plan by not selling off the company’s stock when it was no longer a prudent investment and by not disclosing the fact that the stock was no longer a prudent investment (See    Employees Sue United Airlines over ESOP ).

The suit on behalf of 70,000 UAL employees was granted class action status in February of this year (See    UAL Employees Garner Class Action Status for ESOP Suit ).

The settlement still has to be approved by a judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.