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FIRST EMPIRE WINS LEGAL BATTLE

The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has upheld the decision of a lower court to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Buffalo-based First Empire State Corp., the parent of M&T Bank.

The lawsuit, which was filed by depositors of East New York Savings Bank one month after First Empire's acquired the downstate bank in December 1987, argued that the deal was unfair to depositors.

The suit, which also named East New York and its former trustees, claimed that East New York's trustees breached their fiduciary duties in the sale, that proxy fraud took place in the depositor vote to approve the acquisition, and that First Empire was unjustly enriched by the deal.

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