Court delays ruling on suit against HP

A Delaware court said Sunday it would issue a ruling in the next few days on whether it will throw out a lawsuit filed against Hewlett-Packard by dissident board member Walter Hewlett.

Hewlett, who is fighting HP's acquisition of competitor Compaq Computer, asked the Delaware Chancery Court at the end of March to stop the deal, alleging that HP management bought votes and misled a key adviser.

HP, which believes it won a March 19 shareholder vote on the deal, in turn on April 1 asked the Delaware court, which specializes in corporate law, to dismiss the suit.

A spokeswoman for Walter Hewlett, who owns an HP stake through the William R. Hewlett Revocable Trust said, "We're grateful the court took up this issue on such short notice and we await a court ruling and in the meantime discovery on the complaints is ongoing."

The spokeswoman said the court would issue a ruling in the coming days. Chancellor William Chandler III considered the motion in a Sunday court hearing. HP spokeswoman Judy Radlinsky said the hearing lasted about two and a half hours.

"HP is pleased that the chancellor listened carefully to our argument and we look forward to his decision," Radlinsky said. "We continue to believe the allegations are without merit and we remain confident that we will prevail."

The lawsuit is now due to go to trial in the Delaware court starting on April 23. The judge has reserved three days for the trial, although it could go longer.

News source: CNet News - Court delays ruling on suit against HP

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