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Case Status:    DISMISSED    
On or around 06/13/2006 (Date of order of final judgment)

Filing Date: May 17, 2004

According to a press release dated June 13, 2006, federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Merrill Lynch & Co. over incentives paid to allegedly steer investors into certain families of mutual funds and over excessive fees allegedly charged once they invested in those mutual funds. In an opinion made public Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Owen found that the plaintiffs failed to identify 'a single statement, by any broker to an investor or otherwise, that is misleading' and that the investors failed to establish that they suffered a loss as result of the alleged misrepresentations. 'Defendants disclosed the fees and commissions charged to shareholders,' the judge said in an 11-page opinion. 'The precise allocation of those fees is not material information under securities laws.' The lawsuit had alleged that Merrill Lynch and its related units violated securities laws and their fiduciary duty to clients by failing to properly disclose an incentive structure allegedly designed to encourage brokers and branch managers to improperly push investors to certain mutual funds, known as 'shelf space' funds. The lawsuit also alleged that investors were charged 'undisclosed' and 'excessive' fees once they were placed in those funds. The complaint had sought class-action status for investors in Merrill Lynch mutual funds from May 1999 to May 2004.

The action charges defendants with engaging in an unlawful and deceitful course of conduct designed to improperly financially advantage defendants to the detriment of plaintiffs and other members of the Class. As part and parcel of defendants' unlawful conduct, defendants, in contravention of their disclosure obligations, fiduciary responsibilities and National Association of Securities Dealers ('NASD') Rules, failed to properly disclose that defendants systematically applied incentives and demerits to induce and compel MLPF&S's mid-level managers to maximize sales of mutual funds carrying the MLIM brand name. In turn, these mid-level managers --- Regional Directors, Directors and Resident Managers --- brought intense pressure to bear on the Financial Advisors under their supervision to steer the Financial Advisors' clients away from mutual funds owned and managed by other entities and into MLIM Funds. By investing in the MLIM Funds, plaintiffs and other members of the Class received a return on their investment that was substantially less than the return on investment that they would have received had they invested the same dollars in a comparable fund. MLPF&S's undisclosed plan and scheme has operated as a wrongful and deceptive exploitation of the misplaced trust of its clients.

The MLIM Funds, and the symbols for the respective MLIM Funds named below, are as follows:

ML Aggregate Bond Index Fund (Sym: MDABX, MAABX)
ML Balanced Capital Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDCPX, MBCPX, MCCPX)
ML Basic Value Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDBAX, MBBAX, MCBAX)
ML Bond Fund, Inc. -- Core Bond Portfolio (Sym: MDHQX, MBHQX, MCHQX)
ML Bond Fund, Inc. -- High Income Portfolio (Sym: MDHIX, BHIX, MCHIX, MAHIX)
ML Bond Fund, Inc. -- Intermediate Term (Sym: MDCTX, MBCTX, MCCTX, MACTX)
ML California Insured Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MDCMX, MBCMX, MCCMX, MACMX)
ML Developing Capital Markets Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDDCX, MBDCX, MCDCX, MADCX)
ML Disciplined Equity Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDDGX, MBDGX, MCDGX, MADGX)
ML Dragon Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDDRX, MBDRX, MCDRX, MADRX)
ML Equity Dividend Fund (Sym: MDDVX, MBDVX, MCDVX, MADVX)
ML Florida Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MDFMX, MBFMX, MAFMX)
ML Focus Twenty Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDFOX, MBFOX, MCFOX, MAFOX)
ML Focus Value Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDPNX, MBPNX, MCPNX, MAPNX)
ML Fundamental Growth Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDFGX, MBFGX, MCFGX, MAFGX)
ML Global Allocation Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDLOX, MBLOX, MCLOX, MALOX)
ML Global Balanced Fund (Sym: MDGNX, MBGNX, MCGNX, MAGNX)
ML Global Financial Services Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDFNX, MBFNX, MCFNX, MAFNX)
ML Global Growth Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDGGX, MBGGX, MCGGX, MAGGX)
ML Global SmallCap Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDGCX, MBGCX, MCGCX, MAGCX)
ML Global Technology Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDGTX, MBGTX, MCGTX, MAGTX)
ML Global Value Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDVLX, MBVLX, MCVLX, MAVLX)
ML Healthcare Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDHCX, MBHCX, MCHCX, MAHCX)
ML International Equity Fund (Sym: MDIEX, MBIEX, MCIEX, MAIEX)
ML International Fund (Sym: MDILX, MBILX, MCILX, MAILX)
ML International Index Fund (Sym: MAIIX)
ML International Value Fund (Sym: MDIVX, MBIVX, MCIVX, MAIVX)
ML Internet Strategies Fund (Sym: MANTX, MBNTX, MCNTX, MDNTX)
ML Large Cap Core Fund (Sym: MDLRX, MBLRX, MCLRX, MALRX)
ML Large Cap Growth Fund (Sym: MDLHX, MBLHX, MCLHX, MALHX)
ML Large Cap Value Fund (Sym: MDLVX, MBLVX, MCLVX, MALVX)
ML Latin America Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDLTX, MBLTX, MCLTX, MALTX)
ML Low Duration Fund (Sym: MDDUX, MBDUX, MCDUX, MADUX)
ML Mid Cap Value Fund (Sym: MDRFX, MBRFX, MCRFX, MARFX)
ML Municipal Bond Fund, Inc. -- Insured (Sym: MDMIX, MBMIX, MCMIX, MAMIX)
ML Municipal Bond Fund, Inc. -- Limited Maturity (Sym: MDLMX, MBLMX, MCLMX, MALMX)
ML Municipal Bond Fund, Inc. -- National (Sym: MDNLX, MBNLX, MCNLX, MANLX)
ML Municipal Intermediate Term Fund (Sym: MDMTX, MBMTX, MCMTX, MAMTX)
ML Resources Trust (Sym: MDGRX, MBGRX, MCGRX, MAGRX)
ML New Jersey Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MDNJX, MBNJX, MCNJX, MANJX)
ML New York Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MDNKX, MBNKX, MCNKX, MANKX)
ML Pacific Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDPCX, MBPCX, MCPCX, MAPCX)
ML Pan-European Growth Fund (Sym: MDPEX, MBPEX, MCPEX, MAPEX)
ML Pennsylvania Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MDPYX, MBPYX, MCPYX, MAPYX)
ML S&P 500 Index Fund MDSRX (Sym: MASRX, MDUGX)
ML Short Term U.S. Government Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDAJX, MBUGX, MBAJX, MCUGX, MCAJX)
ML Small Cap Growth Fund (Sym: MRUSX, MBSWX, MCSWX, MASWX)
ML Small Cap Index Fund (Sym: MDSKX, MASKX)
ML Small Cap Value Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDSPX, MBSPX, MCSPX, MASPX)
ML Strategy All-Equity Fund (Sym: MDAEX, MBAEX, MCAEX, MAAEX)
ML Strategy Growth and Income Fund (Sym: MDTGX, MBTGX, MCTGX, MATGX)
ML Strategy Long-Term Growth Fund (Sym: MDYLX, MBYLX, MCYLX, MAYLX)
ML U.S. Government Mortgage Fund (Sym: MDFSX, MBFSX, MCFSX, MAFSX)
ML U.S. High Yield Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDCHX, MBCHX, MCCHX, MACHX)
ML Utilities and Telecommunications Fund (Sym: MDGUX, MBGUX, MCGUX, MAGUX)
ML World Income Fund, Inc. (Sym: MDWIX, MBWIX, MCWIX, MAWIX)


Sector: Financial
Industry: Other (Mutual Fund)
Headquarters: United States


Ticker Symbol:
Company Market: Open-end Fund
Market Status: Open-end Fund

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 #: 04-CV-3759
JUDGE: Hon. Richard Owen
DATE FILED: 05/17/2004
CLASS PERIOD END: 05/17/2004
  1. Geller Rudman, PLLC.
    197 South Federal Highway, Suite 200, Geller Rudman, PLLC., FL 33432
    561.750.3000 888.262.3131 ·
  2. Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A.
    World Trade Center-Baltimore,401 East Pratt Suite 2525, Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A., MD 21202
    410.332.0030 ·
  3. Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York)
    One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York), NY 10119
    212.594.5300 212.868.1229 ·
No Document Title Filing Date
COURT: S.D. New York
DOCKET #: 04-CV-3759
JUDGE: Hon. Richard Owen
DATE FILED: 11/19/2004
CLASS PERIOD END: 05/17/2004
  1. Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York)
    One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York), NY 10119
    212.594.5300 212.868.1229 ·
No Document Title Filing Date
No Document Title Filing Date