U.S. District Court Certifies Class For Merrill MBS Lawsuit
On June 16th, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York certified a plaintiff class for a mortgage backed securities (MBS) case against Merrill Lynch & Company, now under the wings of Bank of America, according to Bloomberg. This marks the first time that a class has been certified in a mortgage backed securities case nationwide. Institutional and individual investors have alleged that banks and others that underwrote and peddled MBS committed securities fraud by misleading investors about the risks of the product.
Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System was designated by the court as the lead plaintiff and Litowitz Berger & Grossman was designated as class counsel. The number and style of the case is Number 08-CV-10841; Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. Merrill Lynch & Company; S.D.N.Y. The case involves over 1,800 investors who "purchased or acquired" billions of dollars worth of MBS issued by Merrill between February 2006 and February 2007 who claim that Merrill made misleading and false statements in their registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to court documents.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said "we are pleased to have our arguments on class certification accepted by the court" and "we are looking forward to proceeding with the litigation and preparing our case for trial late this fall."
As a general rule, class certifications are advantageous for many smaller investors, however, experts tend to agree that investors with larger claims are better off to opt-out of the class and pursue their claims individually through arbitration or litigation.
For more information on the Merrill Lynch case or how to opt-out of the class, please contact our securities law firm at 1-800-259-9010 for a no obligation consultation.