Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiff Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Other Class Action Plaintiffs or by Common Defendants, and Transfers Actions to Southern District of New York
Six class actions – one in California and five in New York – were filed against Orleans Homebuilders and OHB Homes alleging violations of federal securities laws; specifically, the class action complaints “arise from a purported massive financial scandal involving common defendant Satyam Computer Services, Ltd. (Satyam), one of India’s largest information technology and outsourcing companies.” In re Satyam Computer Services, Ltd., Securities Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. April 9, 2009) [Slip Opn., at 1]. According to the allegations underlying the class actions, “defendants deceived the investing public regarding Satyam’s business and finances, and thereby caused plaintiffs to purchase the company’s American Depositary Shares at artificially inflated prices.” Id. Plaintiffs in the California class action filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407; initially, plaintiffs sought centralization in California, but ultimately agreed to centralization in the Southern District of New York, where the other five class actions were pending. Id. Only one class action plaintiff opposed centralization, id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, id. The Panel also agreed that the Southern District of New York was the appropriate transferee court because “Five of the six constituent actions, including the first-filed action, are already pending there, and the parties suggest that some discovery from accountants and banks may take place in the district.” Id., at 2.