A Hartford judge has dismissed one shareholder lawsuit against a Connecticut bank and all but one count of another.
The suits alleged that Glastonbury (Conn.) Bank and Trust breached its fiduciary duty when it rejected a 1994 buyout offer from Fleet Financial Group.
Former Glastonbury director Henry J. Stone Jr. had filed a shareholder suit alleging that he suffered damages when he sold 30,000 of his 35,000 shares at a price far lower than the $16 per share offer from Boston-based Fleet. The offer was twice the bank's Sept. 30, 1994 book value.
A similar shareholder derivative lawsuit, on behalf of all shareholders, was filed by his wife, M. Merriam March.
The Superior Court judge ruled that Mr. Stone lacked standing for his suit because he couldn't show that his alleged damages were separate from any suffered by the corporation as a whole or by other shareholders.
The judge let stand one count of the suit, alleging that Mr. Stone was wrongfully denied a board seat after he was reelected. The bank claims that he had resigned prior to the shareholder meeting.
The judge also dismissed Mrs. Stone's entire suit, ruling that she could not file a shareholder derivative suit because her stock was held in "street name" by Advest, not directly by her. She has asked the judge to reconsider.