The original class action was filed on behalf of purchasers of all classes of shares of the Evergreen Ultra Short Opportunities Fund (NASDAQ: EUBAX, EUBBX, EUBCX, EUBIX) (the "Ultra-Short Opportunities Fund" or the "Fund") who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of the Fund within three years of the filing of the lawsuit, seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"). Prior to August 1, 2005, the Fund was known as the Evergreen Ultra Short Bond Fund.
The complaint alleges that Evergreen Investment Management Co., LLC ("Evergreen Co.") and certain related entities, and officers and directors, violated the Securities Act. Evergreen Investment Management Co., LLC serves as the investment advisor to a group of mutual funds marketed under the Evergreen name. Evergreen Investments is the brand name under which Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) conducts its investment management business.
On or about May 29, 2003, the defendants began offering shares of the Ultra Short Bond Fund pursuant to an initial registration statement, filed with the SEC as a Form 485BPOS (the "Registration Statement"). The complaint charges that defendants solicited investors to purchase shares of the Fund by stating that the Fund's investment objective was to: "provide current income consistent with preservation of capital and low principal fluctuation." The complaint alleges that these statements were materially false and misleading because the fund employed an undisclosed high-risk strategy that led to realized losses of approximately 18 percent and seeks to recover damages on behalf of the Class.
Beginning on or about June 9, 2008, the Fund's per share net asset values declined precipitously across all share classes. On June 19, 2008 the Fund reported that it was liquidating, and that its net assets were only $403 million, far lower than the $731.4 million net asset value reported by the Fund on March 31, 2008.
On April 30, 2009, the lead plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint. On May 7, 2009, the Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton signed the Order consolidating three related actions under Master File, In re Evergreen Ultra Short Opportunities Fund Securities Litigation, No.1:08-cv- 11064-NMG. The Evergreen Investor Group and the Bricklayers Group are appointed Lead Plaintiffs. Judge Gorton also approved The Evergreen Investor Group's and the Bricklayers Group's selection of the law firms of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, Page Perry, LLC and Cohen Placitella & Roth, P.C. as Lead Counsel and Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan, P.C. as Liaison Counsel. On July 15, 2009, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the First Amended Class Action Complaint. On March 31, 2010, Judge Gorton denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss but granted the trustees’ motion to dismiss the Section 12 claims that had been filed against them.
On February 15, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class, which was granted on August 10, 2011.
On June 22, 2012, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. On July 24, 2012, the Court issued an Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement and Providing for Notice.
On December 10, 2012, the Court issued an Order approving the Plan of Allocation of settlement proceeds. On the same date, the Court also issued an Order awarding attorneys' fees and expenses. On December 18, the Court issued the Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal with Prejudice.