NEW YORK - (Mealey's) Lead plaintiffs in a securities
class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs & Co. Inc., certain of its
subsidiaries and officers and directors and three ratings agencies have agreed
to settle their claims against the defendants, according to a letter sent July
19 to the federal judge in New York overseeing the lawsuit (Public
Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., et
al., No. 09-1110, S.D. N.Y.).
According to the letter, which was written by attorney
David L. Wales of the law firm of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann,
lead counsel in the class action, recently appointed lead plaintiff the Public
Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi (MissPERS) and the defendants each
have accepted the terms of the settlement, which were proposed by mediator
"The parties propose to submit the Stipulation, along
with motion papers in support of preliminary approval of the settlement by
Monday, July 31, 2012. The mediator has committed to assist the parties
in resolving any remaining issues in negotiating the Stipulation. While
parties normally seek 45 days for preparing the stipulation of settlement and
the preliminary approval motion, here we are only seeking 17 days. The
parties have proposed this aggressive date for submitting these settlement
papers based on their desire to quickly move forward with the proposed
settlement and the parties' familiarity with Your Honor's desire for moving
cases along quickly," Wales wrote to U.S. Judge Harold Baer Jr. of the Southern
District of New York.
2nd Amended Complaint
MissPERS filed a second amended complaint in the District
Court on behalf of all purchasers of mortgage pass-through certificates issued
pursuant or traceable to GS Mortgage Securities Corp.'s Aug. 15, 2005,
MissPERS alleged that Goldman Sachs Group, offering
sponsor Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co., depositor GS Mortgage, Goldman, Sachs &
Co. Inc. and GS Mortgage officers and directors Daniel L. Sparks, Mark Weiss
and Jonathan S. Sobel (collectively, the GS defendants) and ratings agencies
Moody's, The McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc. and Fitch Inc. (collectively, the rating
agency defendants) issued false and misleading statements concerning the
subprime exposure of the mortgage-backed securities issued in the offering in violation
of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.
On Jan. 12, 2011, Judge Baer granted in part and denied
in part the defendants' motions to dismiss, ruling that MissPERS lacks standing
to bring claims against the GS defendants and failed to properly bring its
claims against the ratings agency defendants for securities it did not
MissPERS then moved to certify a class of all purchasers
of "all persons or entities that purchased or acquired publicly offered
certificates of GSAMP Trust 2006-S2 and who were damaged thereby" and to
appoint itself as lead plaintiff and the Bernstein Litowitz as lead counsel.
In granting the motion on Feb. 2, Judge Baer held that
MissPERS met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff and named
Bernstein Litowitz as lead counsel
MissPERS is represented by David R. Stickney, Timothy A.
DeLange, Elizabeth Lin and Matthew P. Jubenville of Bernstein Litowitz in San Diego and Bruce D. Bernstein of Bernstein Litowitz in New York.
The GS defendants are represented by Richard H. Klapper,
Michael T. Tomaino Jr., Patrice A. Rouse and Harsh N. Trivedi of Sullivan &
Cromwell in New York.
Moody's is represented by Joshua M. Rubins and James J.
Coster of Satterliee Stephens Burke & Burke. Fitch is represented by
Martin Flumenbaum, Roberta A. Kaplan, Andrew J. Ehrlich and Tobias J. Stern of
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. McGraw-Hill is represented
by Floyd Abrams, S. Penny Windle, Adam Zurofsky and Tammy L. Roy of Cahill
Gordon & Reindel. All are in New
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