NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2004 LAWFUEL – Best news on class actions, law, law firms, attorneys, legal research The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. announces that a class action lawsuit was filed today on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Bennett Environmental, Inc. (“Bennett” or the “Company”) (AMEX:BEL) (TSE:BEV.TO) between June 2, 2003, and July 22, 2004, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
The action is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, against Bennett and individual defendants, John Bennett (Chairman), Allan Bulckaert (President and CEO), Danny Ponn (COO), Richard Stern (CFO), and Robert Griffiths (VP of U.S. Sales and Marketing). According to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.
The complaint alleges that at the beginning of the Class Period, Bennett announced that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “U.S. Army”) awarded the Company a lucrative $200 million CDN contract to remediate at least 300,000 tons of soil contaminated with wood treatment chemicals from Phase III of the Federal Cresote Superfund Site in New Jersey (“Phase III Contract”). According to defendants, the Phase III Contract was one of the largest ever awarded to the Company. Throughout the Class Period, defendants touted the Company’s purportedly positive financial results and contract backlog in press releases and SEC filings, and attributed these results largely to the federal contract. Unbeknownst to the Class, however, the Company’s purported success was the product of defendants’ deceptive and fraudulent scheme to conceal from the public that the Contract was in serious jeopardy, a fact known to defendants as early as August 2003.
On July 22, 2004, Bennett surprised investors when it announced that shortly after it had been awarded the Phase III Contract, the Contract was withdrawn by the U.S. Army, and that the U.S. Army had decreased shipments of contaminated soil to Bennett, pursuant to the Contract, from 300,000 tons to merely 10,000 tons. Defendants revealed that since August 2003, they were uncertain of whether the Contract had, in fact, been cancelled, especially in light of the fact that in May 2004, the U.S. Army awarded new subcontracts for the same type of services covered by the Phase III Contract. According to the release, Bennett submitted bids and was awarded one of the subcontracts for a maximum shipment of 100,000 tons of contaminated soil, which defendants characterized as a contract “on less favorable economic terms than the Phase III Contract” and “will remove $90 million from the contract backlog.” In reaction to this news, the price of Bennett stock plummeted, falling $2.13, or 21.4%, from its previous trading day’s closing price, to close on July 22, 2004, at $7.80 per share.
If you bought Bennett securities between June 2, 2003 and July 22, 2004, inclusive and sustained damages, you may, no later than September 27, 2004, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. There are certain legal requirements to serve as Lead Plaintiff. Any member of the purported class may move the court to serve as Lead Plaintiff through counsel of their choice or may choose to remain an absent class member. Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as Lead Plaintiff. To be a member of the class, you need not take any action at this time.
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has significant experience in prosecuting investor class actions and actions involving securities fraud. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago, and is active in major litigation pending in federal and state courts throughout the nation. You may visit the firm’s website at www.cmht.com.
The firm’s reputation for excellence has been recognized on repeated occasions by courts which have appointed the firm to lead positions in complex multi-district or consolidated litigation. Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has taken a lead role in numerous important cases on behalf of defrauded investors, and has been responsible for a number of outstanding recoveries which, in the aggregate, total in the billions of dollars.
If you have any questions about this notice or the action, or with regard to your rights, please contact either of the following: