On November 2, 2015, United States District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. granted final approval of a $146.25 million settlement on behalf of the plaintiffs in the securities class action Nieman v. Duke Energy Corp., No. 3:12-cv-00456-MOC-DSC (W.D.N.C.). The recovery is the largest ever in North Carolina for a case involving securities fraud, and one of the five largest recoveries in the Fourth Circuit.
The settlement resolves the plaintiffs’ accusations that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented that Duke Energy’s then-CEO, John Rogers, would lead the Company after its merger with Progress Energy rather than Progess’ CEO, William Johnson.
News coverage regarding the settlement highlighted that it was an outstanding result for Duke Energy investors. Duke University securities law professor James Cox was quoted by ABC News describing the settlement as “off the charts.” As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, lawsuits such as this one, “which typically allege that boards sold for too little, failed to disclose key points about the deal, or both, have long been common but rarely yield any additional money for investors.”
Dhamian Blue of Blue Stephens & Fellers LLP served as Liaison Counsel for the plaintiffs. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP were Co-Lead Counsel.