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Case Status:    SETTLED
On or around 11/02/2010 (Date of order of distribution of settlement)

Filing Date: December 17, 2002

On September 5, 2007, the Court issued the Opinion and Order No. 95140. According to the Order, U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan certified the class action, approved the settlement, approved the Plan of Allocation and finalized the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses. On September 19, 2007, the Court entered the Order and Final Judgment for In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484.

According to the Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Class Actions, dated March 19, 2007, for In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02-MDL-1484, the case In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Homestore.com Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02cv9931, is part of a proposed settlement of $125 million in cash. A settlement hearing will be held before the Honorable John F. Keenan, United States District Judge of the Southern District of New York to determine whether the settlement should be approved.

According to the Decision & Order dated October 29, 2003, the case was dismissed with prejudice because plaintiffs failed to meet the essential pleading requirements of FRCP9(b) and the Reform Act. According to the Order, the complaints fail to state a claim principally because (1) there are no claims in the Complaints that the alleged misrepresentations or omissions proximately caused the losses claimed; additionally, (2) the Complaints are barred by the relevant statute of limitations; and (3) the Complaints fail to plead any facts giving rise to a strong inference of scienter. These reasons alone are adequate to merit dismissal of the Complaints with prejudice. The Plaintiffs filed an appealed on December 1, 2003. The appeal was later withdrawn in May 2006. Plaintiffs appealed decision after the District Court's rejection of their theory of loss causation [1] alleged in the complaint. The Dismissal was upheld by appellant court ruling, which stated that the allegations of purchase-time value disparity, standing alone, could not preclude operation of the loss causation requirement.

The original complaint charges defendants Merrill Lynch and Blodget with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that defendants issued analyst reports concerning Homestore that recommended the purchase of Homestore common stock and that set price targets for Homestore common stock, which were materially false and misleading and lacked any reasonable factual basis. In particular, it is alleged that defendants failed to disclose significant material conflicts of interest which resulted from the use by defendant Merrill Lynch of defendant Blodget's reputation and ability to issue favorable analyst reports, to obtain investment banking business for Merrill Lynch.

The complaint further alleges that defendants, in issuing their Homestore analyst reports, in which they recommended the purchase of Homestore securities, failed to disclose material, non-public, adverse information which they possessed about Homestore. Throughout the Class Period, defendants maintained an "Accumulate/Buy" or "Buy/Buy" recommendation on Homestore stock in order to obtain and support lucrative financial deals for Merrill Lynch.

Specifically, the complaint alleges [1] that plaintiffs were injured because the alleged misrepresentations and omissions artificially inflated the price of the securities and thereby allegedly induced a disparity between the transaction price and the true investment quality of the securities. In other words, according to the complaint plaintiffs were damaged because they acquired the various securities at "artificially inflated prices" and that "had they known of the omitted material facts, they would not have purchased or otherwise acquired their" securities or if they had they would not have done so at the artificially inflated prices which they paid.

Note: the Merrill Lynch 24/7 Real Media and Interliant plaintiffs alleged similar theory of loss causation mentioned in the last paragraph of this summary, and the Court rejected it.

COMPANY INFORMATION:

Sector: Financial
Industry: Misc. Financial Services
Headquarters: United States

SECURITIES INFORMATION:

Ticker Symbol: HOMS
Company Market: NASDAQ
Market Status: Public (Listed)

About the Company & Securities Data


"Company" information provides the industry and sector classification and headquarters state for the primary company-defendant in the litigation. In general, "Securities" information provides the ticker symbol, market, and market status for the underlying securities at issue in the litigation.

In most cases, the primary company-defendant actually issued the securities that are the subject of the litigation, and the securities information and company information relate to the same entity. In a small subset of cases, however, the primary company-defendant is not the issuer (for example, cases against third party brokers/dealers), and the securities information and company information do not relate to the same entity.
COURT: S.D. New York
DOCKET #: 02-CV-9931
JUDGE: Hon. Milton Pollack
DATE FILED: 12/17/2002
CLASS PERIOD START: 09/08/1999
CLASS PERIOD END: 09/21/2001
PLAINTIFF FIRMS NAMED IN COMPLAINT:
  1. Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (New York, NY)
    825 Third Avenue - 30th Floor, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (New York, NY), NY 10022
    212.838.7797 212.838.7745 · lawinfo@cmht.com
  2. Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran
    1050 30th Street, NW, Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran, DC 20007
    202.337.8000 202.337.8090 · contact@ftllaw.com
  3. Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP (former New York, NY)
    805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP (former New York, NY), NY 10022
    212.687.1980 212.687.7714 · info@kaplanfox.com
  4. Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, PC

    800-470-6824 312-621-1750 ·
  5. Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP
    275 Madison Ave 34th Flr, Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP, NY 10016
    212.682.1818 212.682.1892 · email@murrayfrank.com
  6. Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP (Boston)
    75 State Street, Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP (Boston), MA 02109
    617.439.3939 617.439.0134 · info@shulaw.com
  7. Weiss & Yourman (New York, NY)
    The French Building, 551 Fifth Ave., Suite 1600, Weiss & Yourman (New York, NY), NY 10126
    212.682.3025 212.682.3010 · info@wyca.com
No Document Title Filing Date
COURT: S.D. New York
DOCKET #: 02-CV-9931
JUDGE: Hon. Milton Pollack
DATE FILED: 05/01/2003
CLASS PERIOD START: 09/08/1999
CLASS PERIOD END: 09/21/2001
PLAINTIFF FIRMS NAMED IN COMPLAINT:
  1. Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (New York, NY)
    825 Third Avenue - 30th Floor, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (New York, NY), NY 10022
    212.838.7797 212.838.7745 · lawinfo@cmht.com
No Document Title Filing Date
No Document Title Filing Date