A U.S. federal judge has ruled that Brazil’s Petrobras must face class action lawsuits filed by investors looking to recover losses tied to the company’s ongoing corruption scandal.
In a decision released on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan granted class action status to two classes of plaintiffs who brought suits against Petrobras, Reuters said.
One of plaintiff classes covers Petrobras securities purchased from January 2010 to July 2015 and will be headed by UK-based Universities Superannuation Scheme.
The second class covers securities that were purchased in 2013 and 2014 and will be led by North Carolina’s treasurer and the Employees’ Retirement System of Hawaii, Reuters said.
Judge Rakoff appointed Pomerantz LLP to represent both classes.
An affiliate of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Petrobras’s auditor, was listed as a defendant in the suits along with over a dozen bank underwriters, the news wire added.
Neither Petrobras nor PricewaterhouseCoopers have commented on the ruling.
Brazilian prosecutors have alleged that several Petrobras employees helped orchestrate a price-fixing and bribery scheme tied to company contracts.
The scandal has dragged Petrobras shares down to $3.41 per share around noon on Thursday from a high of $41.48 per share in August 2011.
Earlier this month, Petrobras slashed its 2015 proven reserves on by just over 3 billion barrels, citing revisions to reserve estimates at its pre-salt wells.
The company announced last month that it will slash its management headcount by at least 30 percent in an effort to cut costs.