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HP investor suit against Hurd, directors dismissed by judge

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A Hewlett-Packard Co. shareholder lawsuit against ex-chief executive officer Mark Hurd and company directors was dismissed by a judge who said investors could amend their claims and refile the case.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif. said shareholders in the so-called derivative complaint failed to show that Palo Alto-based HP’s approval of a separation agreement with Hurd was against the corporation’s best interests.

Davila also said the complaint fails to raise a reasonable doubt that Hurd’s severance pay was wasteful and excessive. The judge dismissed these allegations and gave the plaintiffs 30 days to amend the complaint with additional facts.

The shareholders in the lawsuit are demanding that Hurd be required to disgorge to the company payments and benefits described in his separation agreement, according to the filing.

The case is In Re Derivative Litigation, 10-3608, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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