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. Lifeminders Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02-CV-9852, 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.
On December 24, 2002, the Court issued an Order signed by U.S. District Judge Milton Pollack. According to the Order, the case captioned Bullock -v- Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and Henry Blodget 02cv9852, brought on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Lifeminders,Inc. shall be carried in the Clerk's Office and known as the In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Lifeminders Research Reports Securities Litigation 02cv9852(MP). On March 13, 2003, an Amended Complaint was filed. On November 10, 2003, the Court entered the Decision and Order No. 21 dismissing the complaints with prejudice for the reason that the Complaints fail to state a claim principally because there are no claims in the Complaints that the alleged misrepresentations or omissions proximately caused the losses claimed. The plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal and an Amended Notice of Appeal. On August 29, 2006, the Court entered the Mandate of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit withdrawing the appeal from active consideration, without prejudice with leave to reactivate.
In October 2002, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted the Merrill Lynch Defendants’ motion to transfer all such cases to the Southern District of New York for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. The cases were transferred to the Honorable Milton Pollack, Senior United States District Judge, and were coordinated under the caption In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484.
The original complaint alleges that Merrill Lynch and Blodget violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that defendants issued analyst reports regarding LifeMinders which recommended the purchase of LifeMinders
common stock without any reasonable factual basis. Furthermore, when
issuing their analyst reports, defendants failed to disclose material
conflicts of interest in that they were using Blodget's reputation as an
internet stock analyst to obtain investment banking business for Merrill
Lynch. Finally, defendants fraudulently recommended the purchase of
LifeMinders common stock in their analyst reports at the same time they
were privately using a vulgar euphemism referring to a very bad
investment to describe LifeMinders.