A US pension fund that was suing Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and the airline after a 2017 pilot roster debacle that ultimately led to unionization at the airline was denied permission by a New York court to hear its lawsuit in to change the case further.
Birmingham, Alabama Police and Fire Officers Pension Fund sued Ryanair and Mr O’Leary in 2018 alleging that they had made false and misleading statements to shareholders about employment problems at the airline.
The fund insisted that union recognition at Ryanair combined with lower profits ultimately wiped out “millions” in shareholder value.
Ryanair and Mr O’Leary have denied the claims.
In 2020, the New York court dismissed the pension fund’s first amended complaint in part for failure to assert a claim.
The judge handling the case said the pension fund failed to provide a basis for all potentially contestable statements in the complaint, except for those based on the defendants’ statements about the likelihood of unionization.
Attorneys for the pension fund then filed a second amended complaint. They wanted to introduce 35 additional sources to back up their action against Mr O’Leary and Ryanair.
Among those planned sources was the public testimony of former Ryanair Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew.
Ryanair took legal action against Mr Bellew in 2019 to enforce a non-compete clause when the executive announced he was leaving to join rival EasyJet.
The High Court in Ireland eventually ruled that the non-compete clause in his contract was unenforceable.
Lawyers for Mr O’Leary and Ryanair railed against the pension fund’s efforts to file a second amended lawsuit. Last year, they told the US court that the pension fund was trying to “effectively start this case over again” because it had been “dissatisfied with verdicts that were served on it.”
This week, the trial judge dismissed an attempt to file a second amended lawsuit.
“The granting of leave here would require the defendants to expend significant additional resources to resolve the disputes in the matter and significantly delay the resolution of the disputes in the matter,” the judge said.
“The denial is reasonable because the request for permission to change imposes undue prejudice, demonstrates bad faith, and would be futile,” he added.
https://www.independent.ie/business/ryanair-gets-boost-in-us-lawsuit-with-pension-fund-42013507.html Ryanair gets boost in US pension fund lawsuit