Chrysler Corp.'s former U.S. shareholders will be allowed to sue DaimlerChrysler as a group, making it easier for the investors to pursue claims of fraud against the automaker, a judge ruled.
All U.S. shareholders who exchanged their Chrysler shares for stock of the merged DaimlerChrysler company will be part of a certified class action, said Joseph J. Farnan Jr., a U.S. District Court judge in Wilmington, Del. Trial is set for Dec. 1.
Investors seek as much as $10 billion, claiming Daimler-Benz and its chief executive, Juergen Schrempp, defrauded them by representing the 1998 acquisition of Chrysler as a "merger of equals" while intending a takeover. In sworn testimony, Schrempp denied there was a takeover.