terry, i purchased 100 shares of baxter in 1985. over the years i reinvested the dividends and bought more shares. a company called computershare is the transfer agent and held the account. in 2010 all shares were sold and turned over to the state they said i had abandoned the account. i was not aware of this till this year. so for 5 years i thought i had these shares when i checked they were missing from my account they even sold the original 100 shares which i held the certificate in a safe deposit box. so i missed 5 years of dividends and the baxalta spin off. how could this happen in this age and what recourse do i have. the state still has the 2010 payout. i believed baxter is a good company all these years i hope they make this right.
Terry Says: Whoa — this is a terrible story, and hardly justified if mail sent to you was not returned. Have you contacted the Shareholder Information department at Baxter? I assume you tried that. I think you are going to need a lawyer for this one — and it would be worth it if you can get the money repaid. There could be additional damages if they liquidated the certificate they did not possess! I would suggest contacting attorney Clint Krislov in Chicago at 312-606-0500. His firm specializes in handling cases like this. Tell him I sent you — and that I’m interested in doing a follow-up story about the results. This would make a good column to warn others about the perils of long term accounts that do not require action. (This almost happened to me once — so much for long-term investing!)