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French workers refile case against Bain Capital

A class action lawsuit has been refiled against Bain Capital by a group of French workers who allege the Boston investment firm fraudulently sold the Samsonite factory where they worked, and helped plan its shutdown to save money.

The case, first filed last year, was dismissed without prejudice by federal court in Boston, which said the statute of limitations had expired. Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the new case say they were permitted to refile if new facts came to light.

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At issue is a 2003 investment by Bain in luggage company Samsonite. Within months, Bain sold one of the company’s factories, in Hénin-Beaumont, France, and it later went bankrupt, with about 200 employees losing their jobs.

The plaintiffs, led by a French woman, allege Bain “masterminded the shutdown of the factory’’ to save $100 million, Boston lawyer Tim Cutler said. The complaint further alleges that Bain misrepresented the situation before the French courts.

A spokesman for Bain was not available for comment Wednesday. Last year, the firm said, “Regardless of where this action is filed, we believe the claims are entirely without merit and will contest them vigorously.”

Beth Healy can be reached at
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