By Ken Ritter / Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — A former Wynn Resorts shareholder is suing company founder Steve Wynn and former and current executives and board members, saying that his stock fell in value because they concealed information about sexual harassment accusations that led to Wynn’s resignation.
An attorney for Wynn did not immediately respond Wednesday to messages seeking comment about the lawsuit filed Nov. 27 in Nevada state court in Las Vegas. Wynn Resorts marketing chief Michael Weaver declined to comment on behalf of the company and the board.
Plaintiff Robert Bruce Bannister says that Steve Wynn, current chief executive Matt Maddox, former executive Kim Sinatra and nine former and current board members knew for several years about sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn but failed to act.
The lawsuit says that Wynn and company officials misled shareholders and the public by concealing information about women who alleged Wynn harassed or assaulted them, including a $7.5 million settlement with a former company manicurist who said that Wynn forced sex on her on company property in 2005.
Steve Wynn has denied allegations of wrongdoing. He resigned Feb. 6, days after the Wall Street Journal reported about the allegations.
Records show that Wynn Resorts traded at more than $200 per share before the Wall Street Journal report, and closed at about $165 after Wynn resigned. Company stock closed at about $110 Tuesday.
Gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts also are investigating the allegations.
A judge in Nevada dismissed a defamation lawsuit that Wynn filed against The Associated Press for its reporting on a separate allegation made to Las Vegas police.
The new shareholder lawsuit was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal . It names current board members Jay Johnson, Patricia Mulroy, Clark Randt and Alvin Shoemaker and former board members John Hagenbuch, Ray Irani, former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller, Edward Virtue and D. Boone Wayson.
It asks a judge to find that the defendants breached fiduciary duties, and it seeks monetary damages from the company and Steve Wynn.