A New Jersey judge threw out a lawsuit by a major shareholder who claimed a thrift company and its directors had libeled him.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Robert J. Passero gave IBS Financial Corp. a much-needed victory in its continuing battle with Lawrence B. Seidman, the leader of a dissident shareholders group.

IBS, a Cherry Hill thrift company, recently lost a lawsuit against Mr. Seidman's Committee to Maximize Shareholder Value that had sought to keep members of Mr. Seidman's committee off the board. That decision is being appealed by IBS.

"It's quite clear this litigation was without foundation, without merit, and was frivolous," Joseph M. Ochman Sr., chairman of IBS Financial Corp., said Tuesday of the libel suit.

Mr. Seidman said he would not appeal the judge's ruling.

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