Judge Scheindlin yesterday denied French media conglomerate Vivendi, S.A.’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) and for a new trial under Rule 59. The decision confirms the jury verdict against Vivendi awarding plaintiff Liberty Media 765 million Euros based on securities fraud and breach of warranty claims based on a merger transaction between the two companies in 2001. The Liberty Media trial followed a class action trial in late 2009, in which a class of French and U.S. shareholders won a securities fraud verdict over Vivendi for allegedly hiding its true liquidity risk from the market from late 2000 through mid-2002. Judge Scheindlin had earlier ruled that the verdict in the class action estopped Vivendi from contesting the falsity, materiality and scienter elements of Liberty Media’s claims, thus leaving only reliance, loss causation and damages to be tried to the Liberty Media jury.
Continue Reading Judge Scheindlin Denies Vivendi’s Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law and a New Trial