Rochester D&C: Retiree suits claims Perez, EK board cost plans millions

Antonio Perez, Kodak CEO and chairman

Antonio Perez, Kodak CEO and chairman

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is reporting an Eastman Kodak Co. employee is suing the company’s top executives and board members, alleging  their oversight of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Employees’ Savings and Investment Plan cost retirees sizable amounts of money because those plans relied heavily on Kodak stock.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, seeks a court order forcing the defendants — including Antonio M. Perez, CEO and president — to personally make good to the retirement plans the losses that came from the investments as well taking away any profits the defendants made at the expense of the retirement plans.

The court action was filed by Mark Gedek, though it seeks class-action status to represent other Kodak workers who took part in those investment plans since Jan. 1, 2010. The report said the lawsuit claims the defendants “knew or should have known that Kodak stock was an imprudent investment” because it was collapsing due to Kodak’s business woes and that “heavy investment of employees’ retirement savings in company stock would inevitably result in significant losses to the plans and consequently to the plans’ participants.”