Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday that it had agreed to settle a five-year-old stockholders’ lawsuit for $12 million. Plaintiff Robert Ross filed the class-action suit in 2005 on behalf of investors who bought the company’s Class A shares between June 2 and Aug. 16 of that year. The suit alleged that, during the period, Abercrombie executives made misleading statements about the strength of its business and caused an inflation of the firm’s stock price. Shares of the company fell later that summer after the teen retailer returned weaker-than-expected July sales. According to the SEC filing, Abercrombie’s insurer will pay the full amount of the settlement, which includes the class’ legal fees. Court records of the agreement, which still needs a judge’s approval in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, were not immediately available.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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