**Editor’s Note: Where does Nortel fit in our list of tech winners and losers over the past 25 years? Click here to find out.**
More than five years after fabled technology giant Nortel imploded, tens of thousands of pensioners are waiting to find out whether they’ll get any of the $7.3 billion the company brought in from sales of its assets.
On Monday, judges in the U.S. and Canada started hearing arguments about who will take home that money, and in which amounts.
The arguments are expected to last for weeks. The Canadian Press reported that judges will consider evidence from 16,000 documents (down from 3 million) and 110 witness depositions.
One lawyer described the process as fighting akin to that of “jackals over a carcass.” That’s because the pensioners are up against Nortel bondholders and other creditors all seeking their shares of the once-mighty company. In its 1999-2000 heyday, Nortel was worth almost $300 billion and employed 90,000 people. But then the firm got tangled up in an accounting scandal and, after a decade of decline, declared bankruptcy in January 2009.
The cost of the Nortel bankruptcy has reached $1.85 billion, The Canadian Press reported.