In August 2013, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco had
thrown out an earlier version of the lawsuit, and on Wednesday
dismissed a revised version that he said failed to address his
concerns. Wednesday's dismissal was with prejudice, meaning the
lawsuit cannot be brought again.
Before the case arose, HP had updated its Standards of Business
Conduct following a 2006 scandal over news leaks.
The lawsuit stemmed from the sudden August 2010 departure of Chief
Executive Mark Hurd amid allegations that he had harassed an
independent consultant, Jodie Fisher. Hurd, who is now president of
Oracle Corp, had won wide credit at HP for improving the company's
An internal HP probe ultimately cleared Hurd of harassment but found
that he filed inaccurate expense reports.
Plaintiffs led by the Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union
Local 338 Retirement Fund of Mineola, New York claimed that HP's
share price was inflated during the period of Hurd's alleged
They said the Palo Alto, California-based company's statements about
its business conduct standards led them to believe Hurd was in
Last August, Tigar called HP's statements too vague and general to
justify liability, but gave the plaintiffs another chance to make
On Wednesday, he said the new complaint offered more detail about
Hurd's conduct and whether it violated HP's rules, but still did not
show that Hurd's or HP's representations amounted to a "warranty of
ethical compliance" with the SBC.
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"Accordingly," Tigar wrote, "plaintiff has not stated a securities
law violation." He also said Hurd's failure to disclose his
non-compliance with the SBC was not a "materially false" omission.
Ira Press, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond
on Thursday to requests for comment. HP did not immediately respond
to similar requests. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined
The case is Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union Local 338
Retirement Fund v. Hewlett-Packard Co et al, U.S. District Court,
Northern District of California, No. 12-04115.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)
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