The annual Christmas time layoffs may be alive and well at AOL, but with the company’s spinoff from Time Warner (TWX) in 10 days, another long-standing tradition will die out.
On Monday, a judge dismissed the last in a long line of shareholder lawsuits that argued the companies never should have come together in the first place.
The last in a wave of hundreds of shareholder lawsuits over the 2001 AOL-Time Warner merger was dismissed on Monday by a New York judge who found the claim was filed too late and failed to link investor losses to statements made by AOL’s auditor, Ernst & Young.
U.S. District Judge Colleen MacMahon granted Ernst & Young’s motion to dismiss the complaint brought against it in 2003 by private investigator and former AOL shareholder Dominic Amorosa.
Amorosa filed his case after time limits for securities fraud cases had expired, and failed “to connect specific statements made by the auditor” to stock losses, the judge wrote. Amorosa had originally sued AOL, Time Warner, the merged company, AOL European partner Bertelsmann AG, and 11 executives in addition to Ernst & Young. The other defendants were dismissed from the case in earlier proceedings.
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