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Diamond Foods Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Filed in Delaware

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Diamond Foods Inc. shareholders cannot pursue their lawsuit in Delaware against company officials for tarnishing the snack and nut seller’s reputation, a judge ruled in dismissing the case.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine today threw out the lawsuit brought by the retirement fund for Hialeah, Florida, employees, saying their claims should be decided by the court overseeing a similar case in California.

Allowing both cases to proceed would mean “the interests of justice are eroded by the excessive cost and burden of unnecessary litigation over the same issues in multiple forums,” Strine wrote in an opinion.

The retirement fund blamed the directors for Diamond’s inability to file its financial statements and derailing its planned $2.4 billion acquisition of Procter & Gamble Co.’s Pringles division.

Diamond, the San Francisco-based maker of Kettle chips and Emerald snack nuts, said June 11 it wouldn’t file quarterly results on time to meet an extension granted by Nasdaq.

The case is Board of Trustees of City of Hialeah Employees’ Retirement System v. Mendes, CA7657, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at schurch3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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