UnitedHealth gets approval for settlement of options case

Tenzin Pema (Bangalore)
July 2, 2009

July 2 (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has granted UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) final approval for the settlement of a 2007 shareholder lawsuit related to past stock options practices, court documents show.

According to court papers filed in the U.S. district court in Minnesota, Judge James Rosenbaum also granted the plaintiffs in the lawsuit attorneys' fees of $29.3 million and litigation expenses of $514,592.

The shareholders who brought the lawsuit against the company had sought $47 million in attorneys' fees and $803,592 in litigation-related expenses, court documents showed.

An internal company probe in 2006 had concluded that certain executives at UnitedHealth might have backdated stock options awards, meaning the grant dates were manipulated to make the awards more lucrative.

The ensuing scandal over the manipulation of stock option dates led to the departure of the health insurer's former chief executive William McGuire in 2006.

Reference court document: "https://ecf.mnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/10112656417".

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