According to a press release dated on July 11, 2008, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announced the preliminary approval of the settlement of In re JP Morgan Chase & Co. Securities Litigation, Master Docket No. 06-C-4674 (N.D. Ill.), in which it has provisionally been appointed Class Counsel. Under an Order of the Hon. David H. Coar, a settlement has been reached between the parties in the above-captioned class actions. A final settlement hearing will be held before Judge Coar to determine whether the settlement should be approved by the Court, and to consider the applications of plaintiffs' counsel for attorneys' fees not to exceed $11.1 million and reimbursement of expenses up to $435,000, and the application of a lead plaintiff for an award of $2,695 to recover costs and expenses, to be paid by JPMC.
On December 18, 2007 the judge dismissed specific claims from the complaint, but denied defendants' motions for total dismissal of the case. Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary settlement approval in June of 2008, which the judge approved on July 8, 2008.
According to the minute entry, issued on September 26, 2006, the Blau Action, case #04CV6592 and the consolidated Hyland action, case #06C4675 and 06C4676, are consolidated for discovery purposes only.
On August 29, 2006, the Court entered the Transfer Order from the Multidistrict Litigation Panel. According to the Order, two actions filed in the District of Delaware and one action filed in the District of Northern Illinois are now transferred and centralized to District of Northern Illinois for coordinated or pretrial proceedings with the action already pending there. Case No. 06C4674 has been established as the master docket for MDL 1783.
On January 5, 2005, the Court entered the Order granting the motion to appoint lead plaintiffs Dr. Stephen Blau and American Growth Fund, Inc. and lead counsel. On February 18, 2005, an Amended Class Action Complaint was filed, and the defendants responded by filing motions to dismiss the Amended Class Action Complaint. On March 24, 2006, the Court issued an Order denying in part and granting in part the defendants' motions to dismiss. On April 10, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Class Action Complaint.
The original complaint alleges that this is a class action on behalf of all persons, other than defendants, who held shares of the common stock of J.P. Morgan Chase, either on April 2, 2004 (the record date for voting at the May 25, 2004 shareholder meeting), or at any time from April 19, 2004 (the date of the proxy statement associated with such meeting (the "Proxy Statement")) through July 1, 2004, (the date on which the Company consummated a merger with Bank One Corporation ("Bank One")) which was approved by shareholders pursuant to the above-dated materially false and misleading proxy statement. The merger was consummated following shareholder approval of a 15% premium in favor of Bank One, but defendants never disclosed that Bank One offered to consummate the merger without demanding a premium for its shares and that J.P. Morgan Chase's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Defendant William B. Harrison, rejected that offer so he could prolong his executive tenure. This selfish action (the facts of which are omitted from the proxy statement's discussions of related issues - namely, the merger negotiation and approval process, the exchange ratio, and Mr. Harrison's continued employment) ultimately cost J.P. Morgan Chase shareholders over $7 billion in merger compensation. Plaintiff brings this action to recover damages caused by defendants' violations of the federal securities laws.