Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request, Over Plaintiffs’ Objection, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Agrees With Defense that Eastern District of New York is Appropriate Transferee Court
Nineteen (19) class action lawsuits – 18 in New York and one in Florida – were filed against American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. and various other defendants, including Citigroup Capital Markets, alleging violations of federal securities laws. In re American Home Mortgage Securities Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. December 19, 2007) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys for Citigroup Capital filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Eastern District of New York. Id. Eight individual defendants supported the motion, but plaintiffs opposed pretrial coordination of the class actions, id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, explaining that “All of these actions share issues regarding the financial condition of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. (AHM) during the 2006-07 time period, and whether the defendants…misrepresented or failed to disclose material information concerning the company and its financial condition and prospects.” Id. The Panel agreed with defense counsel that the Eastern District of New York was the appropriate transferee court, both because 18 of the class action lawsuits already were pending in that court, and because AHM is headquartered in that district. Id., at 1-2.