A federal appeals court has rejected a securities fraud lawsuit against the St. Joe Co., a massive North Florida landowner and developer that saw the value of its holdings shrink during the real-estate crash.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Monday with a lower court that the lawsuit, filed by investors, should be dismissed.
The investors argued that St. Joe overstated the value of its real estate holdings despite company officials knowing that the market had deteriorated, according to the ruling.
The company’s stock prices plummeted after prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn made a presentation in 2010 questioning the value of St. Joe’s assets. But the appeals court said investors failed to show what is known as "loss causation," which involves showing a connection between misrepresentation and declines in stock value.