Halliburton Reaches $100 Million Deal in Securities Case

  • Investors sued over accounting for construction projects
  • Class action went to U.S. Supreme Court twice over 14 years

Halliburton Co. agreed to settle a 14-year-old securities lawsuit for $100 million, resolving investor claims over its accounting for long-term construction projects and its disclosures related to asbestos liability.

The Houston-based company said in a statement Friday that it will pay about $54 million of the settlement and its insurer will cover the balance.

The lawsuit went up to the U.S. Supreme Court twice. In a 2014 ruling, the high court tightened the limits on class-action lawsuits by shareholders. The court made it easier for defendants to prevent approval of a class action, a certification that can ratchet up the pressure on a company to settle. 

The Halliburton shareholders alleged that from 1999 to 2001 the company falsified earnings reports, played down estimated asbestos liability and overstated the benefits of a merger. The claimed Halliburton stock dropped 42 percent on the day those statements were shown to be false.

David Boies, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he’s pleased to resolve the case.

“The lead plaintiff, the Erica P. John Fund Inc., is to be commended for staying the course for more than 14 years in order to vindicate its right and the right of all other Halliburton shareholders,” he said in a statement.

The case is Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., 02-cv-01152, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

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