Home Depot settles lawsuit with shareholders

According to Home Depot’s annual report filed late last week, the company has settled a lawsuit filed by shareholders over compensation issues stemming from the resignation of former CEO Robert Nardelli in January 2007.

Home Depot will settle the suits for $14.5 million in attorneys fees and reimbursements of expenses, according to the document. The retailer also agreed to “maintain or adopt certain corporate governance practices,” ostensibly to avoid such issues in the future. The settlement agreement was reached March 28.

In January 2007, the company announced it would give Nardelli a $210 million severance package, angering some shareholders. Shareholders involved in the suit alleged, “breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment in connection with the company's return-to-vendor, stock option, and compensation practices.”

The agreement is pending the approval of the Superior Court of Fulton County, Ga.

In related news, Home Depot also discussed an ongoing lawsuit by current and former hourly employees who say they were forced to work off the clock, did not receive work breaks or “otherwise ... were not paid for work performed.” The class action spans from the middle of 2001 to the middle of 2007. The company said it “is vigorously defending itself against these actions.”

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