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But much to their dismay, they had failed to maintain contact with the broker. Their shares were transferred to the state of Delaware as unclaimed property. Delaware was unable to locate the owners and sold the shares long before the Merck deal was announced.

The investors are suing Delaware for their missing funds.


It sounds like Delaware did everything by the book. These investors may be able to recoup the amount that Delaware got for the stock, but not the windfall that the stock eventually became worth. Essentially, by not paying attention to their holdings FOR YEARS, they allowed the state of Delaware to be their "money manager," who sold those stocks at an inopportune time. But hey, the state of Delaware is not in the business of managing your stock holdings for you.

The big lesson is: Pay attention to all your $#!+, because things probably won't work out for the best just by coincidence.

Geez, most advice is along the lines of "don't check your investments every day" and here we have a pair who couldn't check on theirs for over three years. (Way more since it must've taken SOME time to attempt to track down the owners and then failing to do so transfer the holdings to the state.)
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