Apple shareholder stock options suit dismissed

One of Apple's legal headaches disappeared on Thursday as a judge threw out one of the lawsuits against the company over its options backdating scandal. The suit, brought against it by the New York City Employees Retirement System, was filed in August of last year. It charged that Apple had diluted the stock price by issuing some 200 million improperly accounted stock options. US District Judge Jeremy Fogel disagreed, saying the group itself had admitted the stock price did not fall as a result of the backdating, an important threshold the plaintiffs had to meet in order to sue the company for its actions.

Apple is not completely free of any possible legal action by the retirement fund: Fogel gave the opportunity to the group to refile if they can prove the backdating hurt the company overall. However, several other groups are already attempting to sue the company on that same premise. According to a probe by Apple, between 1997 and 2002 some 6,428 improperly dated stock options were issue.

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