A judge has tossed a lawsuit by San Mateo County schools over $20 million in Lehman Brothers investment losses.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer Thursday affirmed his own , saying the law guarantees the county and former treasurer-tax collector Lee Buffington immunity from civil suits.
Twelve school districts and the county board of education in January, alleging they had flouted standards of prudency by placing so much money with the financial services giant, which at the time was the fourth largest investment bank in the nation.
Defense lawyers argued that San Mateo County had itself been a victim of the "unexpected, catastrophic" event. In all, the Lehman collapse cost county taxpayers $155 million.
When Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, it was the largest filing in U.S. history, involving $600 billion in assets.
The school districts plan to appeal Thursday's ruling, attorney Farley Neuman told reporters.
In June, Kramer ruled that the districts cannot sue the county due to limitations in state law allowing such suits, giving the plaintiffs a month to respond.
The 12 school districts that elected to join the suit are:
- Belmont-Redwood Shores School District
- Burlingame Elementary School District
- Cabrillo Unified School District (Half Moon Bay)
- Jefferson Elementary School District
- Las Lomitas Elementary School District (Menlo Park-Atherton)
- Menlo Park City Elementary School District
- Portola Valley Elementary School District
- Ravenswood City Elementary School District (East Menlo Park)
- San Bruno Park Elementary School District
- San Carlos Elementary School District
- San Mateo Union High School District
- Woodside Elementary School District