HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 18, 2015) -- McKool Smith has secured a complete defense trial verdict for its client CenturyLink in a securities fraud suit brought by five groups of investors and four of its current and past executives who accused the company of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.

The verdict was announced on July 23, 2015 following a 16-day jury trial before Judge Michael Landrum of the 113 Civil District Court of Harris County, TX in Houston. Ultimately, the twelve-person jury panel determined that CenturyLink had not committed any wrongdoing and returned a take-nothing defense verdict for McKool Smith’s client.  

Robert Manley, CenturyLink’s lead trial lawyer, said “Our clients were in no way involved in any fraudulent activities and we are pleased with the jury’s decision. Our clients can finally put this case to rest.”

The original suit was filed in 2010 by five investor groups consisting of 63 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs accused CenturyLink and four company executives, including its Chief Financial Officer and its former General Counsel, of committing securities fraud, breaching fiduciary duties and aiding and abetting fraud in connection with investment, the corporate governance, bankruptcy, and the ultimate sale of SkyPort, International Inc. The alleged wrongdoing occurred over the course of a six-year period.  

The McKool Smith trial team representing CenturyLink was led by Robert Manley and included Blake BaileyCharles Fowler, and Avery Williams. CenturyLink was also represented by co-counsel Edward “Ned” Bergin from Jones Walker. 

The case is Jo Ann Schermerhorn, et al v. CenturyTel, Inc. and Robert Kubbernus, et al., case number 2010-09675, in the 113th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas.

With more than 180 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured nine nine-figure jury verdicts, as well as ten eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last eight years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.

For additional information, please contact Michael R. Coston at 212-402-9450 or mcoston@mckoolsmith.com.

Jump to Page