A federal judge here has dismissed two pending class actions against Government Employees Insurance Co., an auto insurance firm. Both suits were filed in the wake of Geico's financial problems during 1975 and early last year.
U.S. District Court Judge George L. Hart Jr. said the complaints failed to state a claim upon which relief sought could be granted, under federal securities laws.
The class actions, one filed here originally and one in New York, were consolidated before Judge Hart. The suits alleged that Geico, certain officers and directors, and the accounting firm of Ernst & Ernst violated disclosure laws, failed to set aside adequate reserves for losses and had failed to follow common law duties.
Geico asked that the cases be dismissed earlier this year and a hearing on that issue was held March 24.
Judge Hart agreed to the dismissal after finding that the alleged omissions by Geico in Securities and Exchange Commission filings come under different sections of law than those cited.
No action against former Geico chairman Norman L. Gidden is possible under the suits, the judge said, because, the individuals who filed the class actions did not buy any Geico stock during a period of time in which Gidden allegedly sold some of his shares in the firm.
Judge Hart said individuals who filed the suits, Robert L. Scheiber and Jack Kulchock, could amend their complaints to assert a complaint under the applicable section of securities laws dealing with alleged omissions in, SEC filings, or could appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. If an appeal is filed, Hart said he would stay his decision pending the outcome.