N.Y. funds win co-lead plaintiff status in Wynn Resorts suit

Robert Steyer

Pensions & Investments

May 14, 2018

The New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, and the New York City Retirement Systems were designated as co-lead plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit accusing Wynn Resorts and several current and former officers of breach of fiduciary duty.

The designation was made by Joe Hardy Jr., a Clark County (Nev.) District Court judge, according to a news release issued Monday by Thomas DiNapoli, the New York State comptroller and sole trustee of the $209.1 billion New York state pension fund. Clark County is the location of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts.

The New York state and city pension funds sued Wynn Resorts in March. Others, including the $74.9 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, Salem, have sued as well. The New York pension funds argued that Wynn Resorts' directors breached their fiduciary duty by failing to act on knowledge that former Chairman and CEO Stephen Wynn made unwanted sexual advances to employees, the news release said.

Mr. Wynn, who has denied the allegations, resigned from both jobs and sold all of his stock in the company.

"The company's leadership has betrayed its employees and its investors through its apparent failure to hold Mr. Wynn accountable for repeatedly harassing employees on company property. We look forward to prosecuting this action vigorously to mitigate the damage caused by Mr. Wynn and the other defendants," Mr. Dinapoli said in the news release.

Zachary Carter, New York City corporation counsel, representing the $194 billion New York City Retirement Systems, in a news release said: "The leadership of Wynn Resorts turned a blind eye to, and covered up, misconduct that lasted for more than a decade. Our suit seeks to hold the board and its directors accountable for failing to meet their fiduciary obligations to shareholders, put an end to this misconduct, and require the company to foster a workplace where workers feel safe and respected."