Qualcomm Settles Class Action for $11 Million

March 6, 2001

San Diego-based technology company Qualcomm Inc. settled a class-action lawsuit on Feb. 26 after two years of struggle with former employees.

Approximately 840 employees will share the $11-million settlement, with 36 of them taking the bulk of the money, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The amount is much less than the original estimate of $400 million in damages that plaintiffs’ attorneys had hoped for. The legal battle began when Qualcomm sold its infrastructure division to Ericsson in 1999, and employees who were transferred to Ericsson found out that they would not receive their unvested stock options.

The unhappy employees accused the company of depriving them of valuable stock options, and the suit was granted class-action status last September. The case was scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 16, but Qualcomm made the settlement offer on Feb. 15.

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