FCPA Derivative Suit Dismissed: Complaint Devoid of Specific Allegations Falls Woefully Short

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In November 2010, Tidewater Inc. paid more than $15 million to US regulators to settle charges that it had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Consistent with a growing trend, Tidewater soon faced the threat of even more liability in the form of tag-along private shareholder litigation. Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday last week, however, a federal judge in Louisiana gave Tidewater and a number of its officers and directors reason to celebrate. Judge Jane Triche Milazzo dismissed in its entirety a derivative shareholder complaint against the company (as a nominal defendant) and certain officers and directors because “Plaintiff did not adequately plead demand futility.”

TIDEWATER’S FCPA SETTLEMENTS

Tidewater is a Delaware corporation that owns and operates offshore service and supply vessels to the global offshore energy industry. Tidewater’s wholly owned subsidiary, Tidewater Marine International Inc. (“TMII”), a Panamanian company, provided managerial and administrative oversight for most of Tidewater’s international operations.

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