If only the people who toiled away unnoticed at Lehman Brothers could sue management. After all, it's the suits in the corner offices who made a mess and cost them their jobs.
Employees of the Los Angeles Times are taking Sam Zell to court. As far as they're concerned, he's responsible for bringing down the value of the newspaper. Zell and his devious colleagues plotted and planned, and all so that they could reap rewards at the expense of the scribblers who created the paper day in and day out.
In the case of the Tribune Company, which owns the L.A. Times, the creation of an employee stock ownership plan made the employees part-owners, and it's in that capacity that they've filed suit. They own a piece of the pie, and if management does nothing but stick in its thumb and pull out the only plum, management will be forced to put the plum back.
How much of the pension plan was used to pay off those who were sent packing, the plaintiffs want to know. They also want to replace the Board of Directors who manage the company, and who were put in place by Mr. Zell.
The trial will drag on, but a lawsuit won't change the fact that fewer and fewer people read the newspaper every day, and advertisers know this. Without advertising income, there's no money to be made, and without money, there's no way to pay employees, even if they are stockholders.
It doesn't matter who's minding the store if no one makes a purchase.