In a ruling issued today, federal Judge James Rosenbaum of Minneapolis questioned whether he is expected to rubber stamp a settlement between UnitedHealth and its former CEO William McGuire or whether Judge Rosenbaum may may examine and possibly reject it on its merits.
A special committee hired by the company brokered the deal earlier this month. It settles a lawsuit over a stock options backdating scandal involving McGuire. In the settlement, McGuire agreed to give UnitedHealth back $400 million in stock options and other pay.
But Judge Rosenbaum, who is presiding over separate shareholder lawsuits, is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to clarify his authority over the settlement.
UnitedHealth lawyers are reviewing the ruling, which also keeps a freeze on McGuire's $800 million in remaining stock options.
A McGuire spokesman says McGuire should be granted access to his money.