Monster Employees Seek Stock-Drop Suit Settlement OK

A group of 401(k) participants is seeking court approval of a $4.25 million out-of-court settlement of a stock-drop lawsuit against their employer Monster Worldwide Inc.

Lawyers representing the employees filed court papers in federal court in New York asking U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to approve the deal and the plan to distribute the money among several thousand employees who were in the company stock fund in the Monster 401(k) Savings Plan.

In the 2006 suit, the employees alleged the company breached its fiduciary responsibilities by continuing to offer the stock fund as an option even though Monster’s share price had plummeted from a high of $80 per share to a $15 low. The low price point came during a period when the Web job search company was accused of a “pervasive options-backdating scheme” (see “Ex-Monster Chief Admits to Options Backdating Allegations”).

The suit alleged that the company knew or should have known its share price was inflated.

While continuing to insist on the validity of the original accusations, the employee motion to Hellerstein admits full-blown litigation would be costly and time-consuming and that the settlement would actually serve the plaintiffs the best.  

The case is Taylor v. McKelvey, S.D.N.Y., No. 06-cv-8322 (AKH).