Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research to analyze the plaintiffs’ damages claims in this putative class action.
Retained by Baker & Hostetler
Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research to analyze the plaintiffs’ damages claims in this putative class action. The plaintiffs claimed that during the period they alleged KeyCorp’s stock price was artificially inflated, the fiduciaries of KeyCorp’s 401(k) savings plan breached their duties by allowing plan participants to invest in KeyCorp’s stock.
Our expert filed an affidavit in which he demonstrated that the representative plaintiff benefited from the alleged inflation in KeyCorp stock. He conducted his analysis using damages methodologies that accounted for the alleged artificial inflation, which is ignored in plaintiffs’ typical damages approach in this type of case.
The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss and accepted their argument that the representative plaintiff did not have standing to prosecute the claims asserted in the complaint because she benefited from the alleged inflation in KeyCorp’s stock. The court also rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that the court should employ an “alternative investment” damages model that measures the losses to a plan from breaches of fiduciary duty by comparing the performance of an imprudent investment with the performance of an alternative prudent investment. The court ruled that “the proper measure of damages in an ‘artificial inflation’ case is ‘out-of-pocket’ damages, i.e., the difference between what the plaintiff paid for the stock and what it was really worth.”