Alabama Sues Enron

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Alabama's pension program was in court Friday, trying to get to the head of the line of investors who are seeking to recover billions from the collapse of Enron. Montgomery Circuit

Judge Johnny Hardwick held a hearing on the Retirement Systems of Alabama's suit against Enron's top three officers, five investment-banking firms and the Arthur Anderson accounting firm. The Retirement Systems is seeking $280 million.

Retirement Systems attorney Mike Rediker says the Alabama pension fund is the first state pension fund to sue in a state court. He says the pension system is pushing the case in state court because it should go faster and produce a bigger judgment that the federal court litigation in Houston, where Enron was based.

Defense attorneys are arguing that the Alabama courts lack jurisdiction and that the pension fund's suit is too vague. Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick ruled the pension fund must give the defendants more information about allegation against them. But he did not rule on the issue of jurisdiction.