Court Rules James Hardie Misled Asbestos Victims
SYDNEY (AP) ¿ Ten former officials of building materials giant James Hardie Industries NV misled asbestos victims into believing the company had set aside enough funds for compensation, an Australian civil court ruled Thursday.
Justice Ian Gzell of the New South Wales state Supreme Court said the ten had breached their duties as directors and executives when they announced in February 2001 a fund that would provide certainty of compensation for those sickened by the company's asbestos products.
Two years later, it was found the fund had a shortfall of more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($710 million).Gzell said the company's announcement "was expressed in too emphatic terms" and criticized the board members for failing to correct the misleading information or inform the Australian Stock Exchange. No ruling has yet been made on penalties. The civil case was filed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. It is seeking maximum fines of $200,000 Australian dollars ($141,670) against the 10 former James Hardie officials, and disqualification from managing a company.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV