[JURIST] The plaintiffs in a major lawsuit against former directors of WorldCom [Wikipedia profile] announced Wednesday that a proposed settlement under which the directors would have personally repaid company investors $18 million of a $54 million total has broken down. The collapse resulted from US District Judge Denise Cote's ruling earlier in the day that conflicted with a key provision of the agreement. The order [PDF] stated that any jury award from the pending trial would not be reduced by considerations of the defendants' ability to pay. The proposed settlement was unusual because it marked one of the few times directors assumed personal liability for company financial damage. AP has more.