The suit alleged the company and its top executives
violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by trying to
deprive shareholders of their right to sell shares of company stock on two
occasions when U.S. Sugar was pondering buyout offers, and by significantly
undervaluing shares held in the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
In April, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed the
employees’ claims, saying they did not exhaust all of their administrative
remedies and that they could not claim an ERISA fiduciary breach because they
held the shares in an ESOP and not directly (see Judge Dismisses Most of U.S. Sugar ERISA Breach Suit).