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Herman Cain, board members settled employee lawsuit in 2001

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Reports say Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain was a part of the board of directors for a company that was involved in a professional liability lawsuit regarding the practices of the firm's human resource workers, the Washington Post reports.

The utility firm Aquila paid more than $10 million to settle the lawsuit, the paper reports, along with an additional $26.5 million for claims that it manipulated the price of gas. According to the class-action lawsuit, employees complained that the company encouraged them to invest their retirement funds and savings into the company's stock which was slowly deteriorating, ruining their retirement savings. The company's market value dropped from approximately $37.50 to $5 during 2001.

"Could the board have done something? Sure," plaintiff attorney Fred Isquith explained to the news source. "Was it run on a day-to-day basis by the Green family? Absolutely. It was the board’s responsibility collectively, and Mr. Cain was a member of the board."

A Cain spokesman informed the news source that every business decision comes with risk and the board's actions saved the organization from bankruptcy. Others added that the Green family, which founded the company, were the ones truly in charge of running the company.

Some critics have said the report could be a black mark on the resume of Cain in the election, who has touted his business expertise.

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