On October 3, 2008, the Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension and Relief Fund and the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System ("Bond Plaintiffs") filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court ("the Bond Action"), which asserted claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 on behalf of investors in certain Merrill Lynch debt securities and a series of Merrill Lynch preferred stock (8.625% Non-Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series 8). Pursuant to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege defendants are liable for violations of the Securities Act arising out of the sale of Merrill preferred stocks and bonds pursuant to the Offering Materials issued in connection with the Offerings identified above, which were materially false and misleading
On October 22, 2008, Defendants removed the Bond Action from New York State Supreme Court to this Court (Case No. 08-cv-09063-JSR-DFE). On November 17, 2008, Co-Lead Counsel and Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossmann LLP, counsel for the Bond Plaintiffs ("Bond Counsel"), filed a Joint Statement in the Bond Action (the "Joint Statement") with respect to coordination of the Bond Action and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, case number 08-cv-09063, the Consolidated Securities Action.
On November 5, 2008, the Bond Action, 08-cv-09063, was accepted as related to the Securities Action, under In Re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Securities, Derivative and ERISA Litigation, case number 07-cv-09633, and the Bond Action was reassigned to Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
On December 4, 2008, Judge Rakoff signed the Order regarding coordination of actions. According to the Order, Bond Plaintiffs will not seek remand of the Bond Action to state court. Except as set forth in paragraphs 6 and 7, below, the Bond Action shall proceed on a coordinated basis for all pre-trial purposes with the Consolidated Securities Action. Lead Plaintiff shall serve as Lead Plaintiff with regard to the Consolidated Securities Action and the Bond Action. The authority of Co-Lead Counsel in the Consolidated Securities Action set forth in the Court's March 12, 2008 Order entered in the Consolidated Securities Action shall extend to the Bond Action. Bond Plaintiffs and Bond Counsel shall have primary responsibility for prosecuting all claims on behalf of investors in Merrill Lynch bonds and investors in Merrill Lynch preferred shares that are identified in the Bond Action but not the Consolidated Securities Action, including with respect to filing pleadings, motions and briefs, subject to the supervision and authority of Lead Plaintiff and Co-Lead Counsel. Lead Plaintiff shall serve as Lead Plaintiff with regard to the Consolidated Securities Action and the Bond Action.
On February 9, 2009, the Defendants filed motions to dismiss the Class Action Complaint, and on March 3, 2009, Judge Rakoff will only take up the motions to dismiss after an Amended Complaint is filed and the Court. On March 13, 2009, the plaintiffs filed an Amended Class Action Complaint for Violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. On March 19, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a Corrected Amended Class Action Complaint. On March 24, 2009, the Tolled Underwriters were dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2). On March 27, 2009, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the Corrected Amended Complaint.
By order dated August 24, 2009, the Court preliminarily approved the settlement and the Court accordingly dismisses as moot any outstanding motions to dismiss.
On October 21, 2010, an Order Approving Distribution Plan was issued by the Court in accordance with the stipulation of the parties.