The board of directors of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts is facing mounting lawsuits from shareholders who allege they breached their fiduciary duties when they ignored what has been described as a longstanding pattern of sexual abuse and harassment by the company’s founder, Steve Wynn.
The latest known “derivative lawsuit” filed in state court in Las Vegas against the board and the billionaire was announced Monday by the official in charge of the nation’s third largest public pension fund, the New York State Common Retirement Fund.
At least four other shareholder groups have filed lawsuits stemming from sexual misconduct allegations leveled against Wynn in a news report last month. Derivative lawsuits allow shareholders to take legal action on behalf of a company when they believe its officers or directors are not meeting their fiduciary duties.
“These board directors and officers were duty-bound to protect employees and the company, yet they failed to confront allegations of predatory behavior,” Thomas DiNapoli, the New York state comptroller and trustee of that state’s retirement fund, said in a statement. “We are asking the court to hold accountable the company officers and directors who allowed this behavior to go unchecked.”
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Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC represents the New York State Common Retirement Fund in this derivative action.