As reported by a variety of news outlets, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, on January 29, a federal jury found French conglomerate Vivendi liable for securities fraud, setting the stage for a potential multi-billion dollar damages award. In 2008, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had made headlines in the same case when it decided to allow French, Dutch, and British investors to be included in the class. (See this July 31, 2008 CAB Article for a link to that order).
The verdict marks the end of the latest chapter in a battle over the viability of ”foreign-cubed” or “f-cubed” class actions–or securities fraud class actions alleging fraud by a foreign corporation, on foreign investors, involving securities traded on a foreign exchange. The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in the case of Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd., Docket No. 08-1191, in which it will address whether and under what circumstances foreign-cubed class actions may be brought under U.S. securities laws. (See this December 1, 2009 CAB Article for a discussion of the decision to grant certiorari and for links to prior developments in the case).
Stay tuned to ClassActionBlawg for future developments in the Vivendi and Morrison cases as well as other f-cubed cases.