NEW YORK The
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is deciding
whether to consolidate a number of lawsuits filed against
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the London Metal Exchange.
If it decides to
consolidate the lawsuits, the panel will also make a decision
on where the case is heard (
amm.com, Oct. 15).
At a hearing held on
Dec. 5 in Las Vegas, a lawyer representing a number of
plaintiffs, including aluminum consumer Superior Extrusion
Inc., asked to transfer lawsuits filed in Florida, Louisiana
and Michigan to a U.S. District Court in eastern Michigan for
coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.
Christopher Lovell, a
partner at New York-based law firm Lovell Stewart Halebian
Jacobson LLP, told AMM that he had argued for all the
lawsuits to be consolidated in Detroit.
Detroit is the largest
LME storage location for Goldman Sachs warehouse
subsidiary, Metro International Trade Services LLC.
The LME, meanwhile,
argued that the venue for any future consolidated lawsuit
hearings should be the U.S. District Court in southern New
York, Lovell said.
New York-based Goldman
Sachs did not argue a preference at the hearing.
Goldman Sachs and the
LME are being sued by a number of companies and individuals for
allegedly manipulating the aluminum market through price fixing
and deliberately restraining the flow of material exiting
LME-listed warehouses. At least six antitrust lawsuits have
been filed over the past month (
amm.com, Nov. 25).
Both Goldman and the
LME said the allegations are without merit and will be
Superior Extrusion Inc. filed its lawsuit in Michigan (
amm.com, Aug. 2).
naming Goldman, other banks and trading companies, the LME or
unnamed "John Does" have been filed by Jacksonville, Fla.-based
Master Screens Inc. and individual plaintiff Daniel Price Bart
amm.com, Aug. 7); South Elgin, Ill.-based Custom
Aluminum Products Inc.; Reserve, La.-based River Parish
Contractors Inc. (
amm.com, Aug. 9); Lewisville, Texas-based Viva
Railings LLCs and Howell, Mich.-based Regal Recycling Inc.; and
Monticello, Ark.-based boat builder Team Ward Inc., which does
business as War Eagle Boats (
amm.com, Aug. 13).