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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Enron Corp investors seeking to proceed with a $40 billion class-action lawsuit against investment banks that put together financing deals for the energy trader, which collapsed in 2001.
The rejection of the Enron appeal followed the Supreme Court's ruling in a similar case on January 15 that sharply limited the ability of shareholders to sue third parties, such as financial institutions, in securities fraud cases.
The Supreme Court denied the appeal in a brief order, without any comment or recorded dissent. Outside lawyers have said a Supreme Court rejection of the appeal would mean an end to the lawsuit.
"Fundamentally it means it's over," said Jay Brown, a securities professor at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law.
In the Enron case, a U.S. appeals court ruled for Merrill Lynch and Co Inc, Credit Suisse Group and Barclays Plc and held the lawsuit could not go forward.
Calls to the law firm representing the Enron investors were not immediately returned.