Toronto (July 26, 2004) – The role of the OPSEU Pension Trust
(OPTrust) in a major class action lawsuit against Nortel Networks Corp. and
several of its senior officers is not affected by a recent court ruling on a
more recent complaint against Nortel.
On July 13, 2004, the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York appointed two other institutional investors – the Ontario
Teachers’ Pension Plan and the State of New Jersey Treasury Department – as
co-lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Nortel covering its
2003 and 2004 fiscal years. These plaintiffs were selected from among more
than 15 complainants, including OPTrust, based on the court’s determination
that they had experienced the largest losses during the affected period.
In December 2001, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New
York named OPTrust as lead plaintiff in an earlier class action suit against
Nortel – covering the period between October 24, 2000 and February 15, 2001.
This suit alleges serious irregularities in Nortel’s accounting and
financial disclosure and seeks to recover damages for investors who bought
Nortel shares during this “class period.”
The court certified the OPTrust-led class action in March 2004, following
unsuccessful attempts by Nortel to have the complaint dismissed. In April,
notice of the certification was issued all potential class members in Canada
and the U.S. Pre-trial proceedings are now underway.
OPTrust is pursuing this lawsuit as part of its fiduciary responsibility to
the members and pensioners of the OPSEU Pension Plan and to recover for
losses in its investments. While OPTrust is actively pursuing recovery of
damages, its losses have no material effect on the Plan’s ability to meet
its pension obligations to its members and retirees.
OPTrust’s legal action is consistent with its role as a major institutional
investor with a long-standing interest in the proper functioning of capital
markets. OPTrust supports efforts to ensure full, timely and accurate
financial disclosure and high standards of corporate governance, in the
interests of all investors.
The original class action lawsuit against Nortel is not affected by the
court decision in the more recent Nortel case. In addition to its role as
lead plaintiff in the 2000-2001 proceeding, OPTrust remains a member of the
class in the 2003-2004 action and retains a stake in any settlement or
damages that are awarded.