$698M MBS Lawsuit Seeking Damages from Goldman Sachs Group Can Take on Class Action Status, Says District Judge

U.S. district judge says that Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a securities fraud lawsuit, may proceed as a class action case. Some 150 investors would fall under this class plaintiff category as they seeking damages related to a $698 million mortgage-backed securities offering.

According to the complaint, loan originator New Century Financial Corp. did not abide by its own underwriting standards and overstated what the value was of the collateral backing the loans. The plaintiffs are accusing Goldman Sachs of failing to conduct the necessary due diligence when it purchased the loans seven years ago. The financial firm then structured, issued, and sold the mortgage pass-through certificates in a single offering.
Goldman attempted to fight certification on the grounds of numerosity, typicality, commonality, statute of limitations, typicality, and alleged conflicts involving buyers of different tranches, what investors knew, and other claims.

Judge Harold Baer Jr. turned down the defendants’ contention that class claims wouldn’t predominate due to individual investors’ knowledge of possibly false statements that may have been made in the offering documents when the acquisition took place. The defendants also had argued that class status should not be granted because investors, who conducted their own research and due diligence, interacted directly with loan originators, as well as had access to data that gave them information about New Century’s practices and the loan pool.

The court also turned down the defendants’ claim revolving around investors’ relying on asset managers and the change in information that was made publicly available over time. The court said that determining whether individual or common issues predominate is reliant upon whether putative class members took part in or knew about the alleged behavior and that likelihood of knowledge is not enough.

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi had been seeking to certify as a Class any entity or person that bought or otherwise publicly acquired offered certificates of GSAMP Trust 2006-S2 and, as a result, sustained damages. Not included in the Class are defendants, respective officials, directors, affiliates, these parties’ immediate relatives, heirs, legal representatives, successors, assigns, and any entity that defendants had or have controlling interested in.

Goldman Sachs Mortgage-Backed Securities Suit Granted Class-Action Status, Bloomberg, February 3, 2012

$698 Million Class Can Sue Goldman, Courthouse News Service, February 7, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Goldman Sachs CEO Hires Prominent Defense Attorney in the Wake of Justice Department Probe into Mortgage-Backed Securities, Institutional Investor Securities Fraud Blog, August 24, 2011

Mortgage-Backed Securities Lawsuit Against Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Now a Class Action Case, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 25, 2011

Two Ex-Credit Suisse Executives Plead Guilty to Mortgage-Backed Securities Fraud, Institutional Investor Securities Fraud Blog, February 7, 2012

While class-action status lets investors share legal and financial resources, which can up the chance of a favorable verdict or settlement, at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP, our securities fraud lawyers represent individuals and institutional investors with their own arbitration claims and securities fraud lawsuits. Granted, a class-action victory may benefit all plaintiffs certified under that class that have decided to participate. However, working one-on-one with an experienced securities fraud law firm dedicated to your case gives you the opportunity to recover more than you would have had you gone with the certified group.