A Delaware judge has left open the possibility that dissident Hewlett-Packard Co. director Walter Hewlett still can torpedo the company's $19 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp.

Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III ruled April 8 that there is merit to Hewlett's lawsuit accusing HP of improperly enticing a big investor to back the deal and making false statements about the progress of the complex merger plans.

At press time, the case was set for trial April 23, even as an independent proxy firm continued to count the ballots

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