Judge dismisses investor lawsuit against Spirit alleging fraud

A class action investor lawsuit against Spirit AeroSystems and four of its former executives was dismissed Thursday by a federal judge in Wichita.

Judge Eric Melgren of U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ordered a dismissal of the lawsuit alleging securities fraud. The suit had been filed in June 2013 against Spirit, former CEO Jeff Turner, former senior vice president Alexander Kummant and executives Phillip Anderson and Terry George.

The lawsuit alleged that Spirit officials made false and misleading statements that artificially inflated Spirit’s stock price before the company announced a $590 million charge in the third quarter of 2012.

News about the financial loss in the fall of 2012 caused Spirit’s stock to drop 30 percent, from $15.11 a share to $6.55 a share.

Melgren wrote in his 34-page dismissal that “the alleged false statements were not material and that the complaint fails to raise a strong inference” that the company and its executives knowingly intended to mislead investors.

“We are very pleased with the result and believe this vindicates the Company and the four individuals that plaintiffs named as defendants,” Spirit spokesman Fred Malley said in an e-mail.

Attorney Steve Six in Kansas City, who was representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, could not be reached for comment Thursday by phone or e-mail.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.