Even if they did, the bank argues, members of the prominent Charlotte family have no right to damages.
"If they are insiders, the court cannot award lost profits for a failed insider trading scheme. If they are outsiders, they are in the same position as their fellow shareholders," Wachovia's response concludes. "Either way, they do not have a claim."
Cameron and Dee-Dee Harris sued Wachovia and former chief executive Ken Thompson in the fall after Harris' family lost millions of dollars as the bank's stock price plunged.
Cameron Harris said that Thompson and other bank executives misled him about the bank's financial condition, giving him reassuring but inaccurate information both in private conversations and public statements.
The bank says in its filing that "alleged private comments are esssentially indistinguishable from the alleged public comments during the same period."
Click here to read the filing.
The Harrises considered selling Wachovia shares in the summer of 2007, when the stock started trading around $50 per share, and later in mid-February 2008, when it was still trading above $30, according to their suit.
They refrained based on "misrepresentations" by Thompson and other executives, their lawsuit states. That includes public statements and reassurances from Thompson and others in private conversations, including on a hunting trip in February 2008.
The Harrises, Wachovia says, "wish now that they had sold instead of holding, as undoubtedly do millions of other shareholders ... Although their regret is understandable, North Carolina law does not permit Plaintiffs to turn back the clock."
Click here for the full Observer story.
- Doug Miller