Thursday, February 23, 2006

Uphill Battle

This is truly a story of Davey and Goliath. O.K., let’s see here. You have seven individuals with a combined loss of $10,620.84 in the AstraZeneca securities class action. Not bad, nice job there counsel. Just one tiny obstacle stands in your way though. Your opponent has one institutional investor (the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois) with $1.2 million in losses. So, you guys give up yet, or are you thirsty for more? Nope, you push on, telling Judge Thomas P. Griesa (S.D.N.Y.) that your group should be appointed co-lead plaintiffs because “the broad interests of the class will be more adequately represented by the combination of individual investors and an institutional investor than by an institutional investor alone,” and this arrangement “will protect the action in the event that defendants find any unique defense against the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois.”

Sounds good to you, right? Yeah, but apparently not to Judge Griesa, who held that “the court finds no need to complicate the proceedings with co-lead plaintiffs,” because “courts in this circuit have frequently declined to appoint co-lead plaintiffs in the absence of some actual infirmity with the appointed lead plaintiff,” and “no such infirmity has been suggested here.”

Looks like your “motion to be appointed as co-lead plaintiff is therefore denied.” Oh well, don't worry Davey, you still got Goliath to keep you company, even if you are the only one who can hear him.

You can read In re AstraZenica, issued February 16, 2006, at 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6479.

Nugget: “The Foster Group does not challenge the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois' claim to the largest financial interest in the litigation or that it satisfies the requirements of Rule 23.”

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