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Judge dismisses racketeering lawsuit against Qwest over Dutch venture

 

The Denver Post

By Andy Vuong

April 12, 2010

A federal judge in Denver has dismissed a racketeering lawsuit filed against Qwest by the bankruptcy trustees of its failed European joint venture, KPNQwest NV.

The suit alleged Qwest and three former executives, including former chief executive Joe Nacchio, engaged in fraud and deceptive accounting and sought damages of at least $2.4 billion.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled. He said "foreign law applies to a substantial portion of the plaintiffs' claims and an adequate alternative forum, the Dutch civil courts, is available to resolve those claims."

Related litigation is ongoing in the Netherlands, Blackburn said.

KPNQwest, a venture between Qwest and Dutch phone company Royal KPN, declared bankruptcy in 2002.

The other defendants in the case were former Qwest chief financial officer Robert Woodruff and former Qwest international business executive John McMaster, who also served as CEO of KPNQwest.

A similar lawsuit filed in New Jersey by the bankruptcy trustees was dismissed in 2006. The trustees filed the lawsuit in Denver in January 2009.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209, avuong@denverpost.com or twitter.com/andyvuong