Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lawrence E. Jaffe Pension Plan v. Household International

November 22, 2010

LAWRENCE E. JAFFE PENSION PLAN, ON BEHALF OF ITSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOUSEHOLD INTERNATIONAL, INC., MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER, & SMITH, INC., GOLDMAN SACHS & CO., INC., ARTHUR ANDERSEN, L.L.P., WILLIAM F. ALDINGER, DAVID A. SCHOENHOLZ, GARY GILMER, J.A. VOZAR, ROBERT J. DARNALL, GARY G. DILLON, JOHN A. EDWARDSON, MARY JOHNSTON EVANS, J. DUDLEY FISHBURN, CYRUS F. FREIDHEIM, LOUIS E. LEVY, GEORGE A. LORCH, JOHN D. NICHOLS, JAMES B. PITBLADO, S. JAY STEWART, AND LOUIS W. SULLIVAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Ronald A. Guzmán

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court are the parties' submissions regarding post-verdict Phase II of this case. This Order addresses the parties' concerns and creates the protocol for Phase II, as well as the appropriate method of calculating damages with respect to each class member's claims.

Background

On May 7, 2009, the jury found that defendants Household International, Inc., William Aldinger, David Schoenholz and Gary Gilmer violated 15 U.S.C. § 78(j)(b) ("§ 10(b)") of the Exchange Act of 1934 ("1934 Act")), and 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5 ("Rule 10b-5") and 15 U.S.C. § 78(t)(a) ("§ 20(a)") with respect to statements made from March 23, 2001 to October 11, 2002. In addition, the jury determined the inflation per share from March 23, 2001 to October 11, 2002.

We now move to Phase II of the class action. Previously, Magistrate Judge Nan R. Nolan bifurcated class discovery and held that discovery as to any individual plaintiff's reliance would occur after a determination of class-wide liability and the applicability of the fraud-onthe-market theory. Neither party filed objections to that ruling. Accordingly, Phase II shall address the issue of defendant's rebuttal of the presumption of reliance as to particular individuals as well as the calculation of damages as to each plaintiff. In creating a Phase II protocol, this Court receives very little guidance from other courts because securities fraud class actions have rarely proceeded to trial, let alone reached subsequent proceedings. See, e.g., Edward J. Bartolo Corp. v. Coopers & Lybrand, 928 F. Supp. 557, 560 (W.D. Pa. 1996).

On one hand, plaintiffs contend that the only remaining tasks are implementing the procedure by which defendants will exercise the right to rebut the presumption of reliance and determining the formula for calculating class members' claims and calculating damages. Plaintiffs ask the Court to approve a notice to be sent to class members advising them of the verdict and their right to file a claim for recovery along with an interrogatory addressing the issue of reliance.

On the other hand, defendants argue that due process guarantees their right to a jury trial as well as pretrial discovery regarding the contested individual issues of reliance. Defendants contend that there is no reasonable substitute for the consideration of class members' actual trading history to quantify damages.

Discussion

I. Rebutting the Presumption of Reliance

Having prevailed on their fraud-on-the-market theory, plaintiffs are entitled to a presumption of reliance. Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224, 247 (1988). In Basic, the Court explained the fraud-on-the-market doctrine as follows:

An investor who buys or sells stock at the price set by the market does so in reliance on the integrity of that price. Because most publicly available information is reflected in market price, an investor's reliance on any public material misrepresentations, therefore, may be presumed for purposes of a Rule 10b-5 action. Id. The fraud-on-the-market doctrine provides "a practical resolution to the problem of balancing the substantive requirement of proof of reliance in securities cases against the procedural requisites of [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 23." Id. at 242 (alteration in original). Following Basic, the Seventh Circuit has explained that the reliance required for a Rule 10b-5 action is not reliance as used in the lay sense of the term:

"[R]eliance" is a synthetic term. It refers not to the investor's state of mind but to the effect produced by a material misstatement or omission. Reliance is the confluence of materiality and causation. The fraud on the market doctrine is the best example; a material misstatement affects the security's price, which injures investors who did not know of the misstatement.

Eckstein v. Balcor Film Investors, 58 F.3d 1162, 1170 (7th Cir. 1995).

When someone makes a false (or true) statement that adds to the supply of available information, that news passes to each investor through the price of the stock. And since all stock trades at the same price at any one time, every investor effectively possesses the same supply of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.