Some of AOL Time Warner's institutional investors have dropped out of a class action suit against the company's 2001 merger and plan to file their own separate suits in hopes of getting more money.
According to a spokeswoman for Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP,which is representing the investors, the firm got $650 million from Worldcom for investors following the same opt-out strategy.
Lerach Coughlin has now led approximately 100 AOL Time Warner investors to go their own way, looking for $1.6 billion. The firm already represents other individual insitutional investors, including the Regents of the University of California and the West Virginia Investment Management Board in suits totalling another $1.6 billion.
Lerach Coughlin predicts the total claims against the company could reach $10 billion.
“We believe that our ‘opt-out’ claimants will be able to achieve much larger recoveries than reliance on the recently settled AOL Time Warner class action could produce” said Bill Lerach in announcing the strategy.