Monday, March 31, 2008

Let the litigation begin!

Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP Files First ERISA Fiduciary Breach Class Action on Behalf of Participants and Beneficiaries of the Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan Against the Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. and Other Plan Fi

RADNOR, Pa., March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was
issued today by the law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP:

Notice is hereby given that the law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz &
Kessler, LLP ("SBTK") has filed the first lawsuit of its kind on behalf of
participants and beneficiaries of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. Employee
Stock Ownership Plan (the "Plan"), in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), the federal law governing
employee benefit plans. The lawsuit seeks to recover, on behalf of the Plan
and its aggrieved participants, losses in connection with the unprecedented
devaluation of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. ("Bear Stearns") common
stock (NYSE: BSC) held by Plan participants between December 14, 2006 and
the present (the "Class Period").

This case epitomizes the danger of concentrating hundreds of millions
of "retirement eggs" in one basket - employer stock - even for employees of
an institution like Bear Stearns. Plaintiff alleges that Bear Stearns, like
too many others, has inflicted long-term harm on its most precious resource
- its workers.

Pursuant to ERISA, the defendants-fiduciaries of the Plan-were
obligated to ensure that the Plan's assets were prudently invested. The
Complaint alleges that the defendants utterly failed to fulfill their
fiduciary duties and, as a result, the Plan's participants have suffered
tremendous losses to their retirement savings.

The Complaint generally alleges that Bear Stearns and certain of its
officers and directors allowed the imprudent investment of the Plan's
assets/participants' retirement savings in Bear Stearns equity throughout
the Class Period, despite the fact that they clearly knew or should have
known that such investment was imprudent due to, among other things, (a)
the Company's failure to disclose material adverse facts about its
financial well- being including its ability to continue as a going concern;
(b) the foreseeable deleterious consequences to the Company resulting from
its substantial entrenchment in the subprime mortgage market; (c) the fact
that, as a consequence of the above, the Company's stock price was
artificially inflated; and (d) the fact that heavy investment of retirement
savings in Company stock would therefore result in significant losses to
the Plan, and consequently, to its participants.

Specifically, Plaintiff's complaint alleges that Bear Stearns stock was
an inherently imprudent Plan investment vehicle because the Company: (1)
was grossly over-exposed to the potential for substantial losses as
conditions in the subprime industry deteriorated; (2) actively concealed
the ominous dangers it faced; (3) failed to take accurate and timely
write-downs for losses resulting from the collapse of the subprime market;
and that the (4) Company's statements about its financial well-being and
future business prospects were lacking in any reasonable basis when made.

As noted above, this case is brought on behalf of the Plan and its
participants. Proposed class actions have also been brought against Bear
Stearns regarding violations of the federal securities laws by the
company's public shareholders.

SBTK specializes in complex class action litigation, representing
investors, employees and consumers in class actions pending in state and
federal courts throughout the United States. SBTK has substantial
experience and success in this specialized area of pension law, with one of
the preeminent and largest legal departments dedicated to ERISA breach of
fiduciary duty class action litigation in the country. The firm has been
named lead or co-lead counsel in numerous directly analogous ERISA class
cases - including successful actions on behalf of ESOP and/or 401(k)
savings plans sponsored by companies such as AOL/Time Warner,
Bristol-Myers, and Polaroid.

If you are a current or former employee of Bear Stearns, or a
subsidiary of Bear Stearns, who held Bear Stearns stock through the Plan
during the Class Period, and you wish to discuss this action or have any
questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect
to these matters, please contact Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
(Edward W. Ciolko, Esq. or Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.) toll free at
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or via e-mail at

For more information about Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, please

CONTACT: Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
Edward W. Ciolko, Esq.
Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.
280 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706
Or by e-mail at

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