Did ya hear the rousing cheers coming from the corner office yesterday? Wooo Wooo!! Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that investors cannot sue businesses that help manipulate the stock prices of publicly traded companies. HOT DAMN!! Finally!
From the Associated Press: "In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court gave a sweeping measure of protection from securities lawsuits to suppliers, banks, accountants, law firms and PR agencies that do business with corporations engaging in securities fraud. The justices ruled against investors who alleged that two suppliers colluded with Charter Communications Inc. to deceive Charter’s stockholders and inflate the price of the cable TV company’s stock."
The outcome "is important relief for manufacturers and PR agencies," said Martin Turnbull, noted PR industry analyst and chairman of the College of Communications at the Kepler School of Management. "It prevents creeping liability, attempts to expand primary responsibility from one party to third parties who were not technically the ones making the misleading statements... wink wink."
Dissenting in the case, Justice Stevens said the court is engaged in a continuing campaign to undercut investor lawsuits. Charter inflated its revenues by $17 million and "it could not have done so absent the knowingly fraudulent actions" of the two suppliers, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and Motorola Inc., Stevens wrote.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said: "the decision goes beyond that commonsense law. Instead of protecting innocent businesses, it would protect wrongdoers from the consequences of their actions."
The following people could not be reached for comment:
Janet Tyler, President, Airfoil; Andy Getsey, Co–founder/CEO, Atomic PR; Margery Kraus, President/CEO, APCO Worldwide; Neal Cohen, CEO/North America, APCO Worldwide; Brad Staples, CEO/Europe, APCO Worldwide; John Bliss, Principal, Bliss, Gouverneur & Associates; Andrea Coville, CEO, Brodeur; Harry Burson, Burson-Marsteller; Mark Penn, President & CEO, Burson Marsteller; Ken Eudy, CEO, Capstrat; Doug Spong, President, Carmichael Lynch Spong; Joel Curran, SVP and managing director, CKPR; Jens Bang, President/CEO, Cone; Andy Cooper Principal, CooperKatz & Company, Inc.; Thomas Coyne, President/CEO, Coyne PR; Barbara Bates, Co-Founder and Principal, Eastwick; Elaine Cummings, Co-Founder and Principal, Eastwick; Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman PR; Rick Murray, President, Me2Revolution; David Brain, CEO Europe, Edelman PR; Dave Senay, CEO, Fleishman-Hillard Inc.; Lisa Sepulveda, CEO, Euro RSCG Magnet; Declan Kelly, President & CEO, Financial Dynamics; Cos M. Mallozzi, President and CEO, Gibbs & Soell PR; Fred Cook, President and CEO, Golin/Harris International; Greg Matusky, president, Gregory FCA Communications; Paul Taaffe, CEO, Hill and Knowlton; Sabrina Horn, President, Horn Group; Shannon Latta, Partner, Horn Group; Kevin Lynch, principal and founding partner, HLB Communications; David Gallagher, CEO, Ketchum/London; Chris Lewis, CEO, Lewis PR; Ken Makovsky, President Makovsky + Company; Margaret Booth, President, M Booth & Associates; Mark Hass, CEO, Manning Selvage & Lee; Michael Kempner, CEO, MWW Group; Tim Dyson, CEO, Next Fifteen; Marcia Silverman, CEO, Ogilvy PR Worldwide; Lynn Casey, CEO, Padilla Speer Beardsley; Steve Cody, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Peppercom; Helen Ostrowski, CEO, Porter Novelli; Michael Petruzzello, Managing Partner, Qorvis; Peter Finn, CEO, Ruder Finn; Steve Schwartz, President and CEO, Schwartz Communications; Todd Defren, Principal, SHIFT Communications; Marc Hausman, President and CEO, Strategic Communications; Tony Signore, CEO, Taylor; Aedhmar Hines, CEO, Text 100; Lou Hoffman, President, The Hoffman Agency; Tony Sapienza, Partner, Topaz Partners; Paula Slotkin, Partner, Topaz Partners; Richard Cline, Founder and President, Voce Communications; Frank Shaw, President, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide; Harris Diamond, CEO, Weber Shandwick; Scott Widmeyer, Chairman, Widmeyer Communications, Inc.; Joe Clayton, President & CEO, Widmeyer Communications.