Among other things, Cornerstone Research's mid-year 2011 analysis of securities class action lawsuit filings reported that during the year's first half lawsuits were filed more quickly. The report said that in the first six months of 2011 "the median lag between the end of the class periods and the filing dates dropped to the lowest recorded semiannual level since 1997." But while securities suits in general may be being filed with alacrity, there are still suits that are being filed only after considerable delay. At least one recent suit filing qualifies as belated, while yet another recent filing looks positively ancient.
First, on July 20, 2011, plaintiffs' counsel filed a securities class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Lockheed Martin and certain of its directors and officers. According to the plaintiffs' lawyers' July 20, 2011 press release (here), the complaint (which can be found here) purports to represent a class of Lockheed shareholders who purchased their shares between April 21, 2009 and July 21, 2009.
In other words, the plaintiffs appear to have filed their complaint in the Lockheed Martin action on the last day of the two year statute of limitations period applicable to most private securities lawsuits. Given the lag between the class period cutoff date and the date the complaint was filed, the Lockheed Martin lawsuit filing would seem to qualify at least as "belated."
But the lag time in the Lockheed Martin case is nothing compared to the time gap in the case recently filed involving Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
As reflected in their press release (here), on July 25, 2011, plaintiffs' counsel filed a securities class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Fairfax Financial Holdings, its auditor, and certain of its affiliated entities and certain of its directors and officers. In their complaint, the plaintiffs purport to represent a class of Fairfax shareholders who purchased their shares between May 21, 2003 and March 22, 2006. In other words, the plaintiffs filed their complaint in this case more than five years after the end of the purported class period.
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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.
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