UPDATE 1-Investors can try new claims vs Apple execs-court

* Court upholds dismissal of stock dilution loss claims

* Lower court erred in disallowing amendment of lawsuit
(Adds comment from pension fund’s lawyer, paragraphs 5-6)

By Gina Keating

LOS ANGELES, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – A New York pension fund can
try again to sue Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) Chief Executive Steve Jobs
and other officers and directors over a stock options plan that
allegedly led to stock losses, a U.S. court ruled on Thursday.

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit led by the New York
City Employees’ Retirement System, finding among other things,
that investors had not shown a link between stock dilution
caused by the plan and their losses, the opinion said.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that finding
but determined the lower court had erred in denying investors
the chance to amend their lawsuit to include a potentially
viable claim asserted in an earlier version of the suit.

An Apple spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael Barry, said his clients
plan to reassert a claim for securities fraud in place of the
proxy violation claim that was dismissed.

“We are very pleased with the result at the 9th Circuit,”
Barry said. “Obviously, I would have liked it if they had
agreed with us on the economic loss causation.

The lawsuit was prompted by Apple’s $105 million
restatement of financial results to account for thousands of
backdated stock options grants between 1997 and 2002.

Investors contended that they unwittingly authorized the
issuance of 205 million shares, or 20 percent of Apple’s stock
float, as a result of misleading statements in a 2005 proxy
about the company’s stock options plan.

The dismissed suit sought reversal of the shareholders’
votes, compensatory damages for share dilution, a court-ordered
accounting and declaration that the defendants are liable for
damages, the opinion said.

Backdating involves setting a stock option price at a date
in the past rather than the date it is issued and is legal when
companies account for the price disparity in their books.

Apple was among about 170 U.S. companies touched by a
government backdating probe that produced a flurry of internal
investigations and a handful of civil settlements since 2006.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Apple’s
former General Counsel Nancy Heinen and former Chief Financial
Officer Fred Anderson over backdating-related claims in 2007.
Both paid fines to settle the lawsuits without admitting
wrongdoing.

The case is: New York City Employees’ Retirement System v.
Steven P. Jobs et al, Case No. 08-16488, 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals.

(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Richard Chang)

UPDATE 1-Investors can try new claims vs Apple execs-court