NEW YORK A federal judge is allowing three groups of plaintiffs to pursue separate lawsuits against Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., their warehousing businesses and the London Metal Exchange.
The suits, filed late last year on behalf of dozens of domestic aluminum suppliers and consumers (amm.com, Dec. 17), accuse the companies of conspiring to reduce aluminum supplies and increase aluminum prices by manipulating warehouse inventories.
Judge Katherine Forrest of the U.S. District Court in New York said in an order dated March 6 that she would allow purchaser plaintiffs, commercial end-user plaintiffs and consumer end-user plaintiffs to file their own complaints seeking class-action status, while giving defendants the right to object to those filings.
Aluminum consumers have filed a host of lawsuits alleging that the LME and financial institutions owning warehouses violated antitrust laws by conspiring to monopolize U.S. aluminum supplies and hold metal back from the physical market. The LME and banks generally have dismissed the lawsuits as being without merit or declined to comment on them
The defendants include New York-based Goldman affiliates GS Power Holdings LLC and Metro International Trade Services LLC, New York-based JPMorgan warehousing affiliate Henry Bath LLC and Baltimore-based warehousing company Pacorini Metals USA LLC.