March 9 A U.S. judge overseeing litigation
accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co
, their warehousing businesses and the London Metal
Exchange of conspiring to reduce the supply and increase the
price of aluminum will allow for now three groups of plaintiffs
to pursue separate lawsuits.
In an order dated March 6, U.S. District Judge Katherine
Forrest said she will let direct purchaser plaintiffs,
commercial end-user plaintiffs and consumer end-user plaintiffs
file their own complaints seeking class-action status, while
giving defendants the right to object to those filings.
She also designated co-lead counsel for the respective
- For the direct plaintiffs: Grant & Eisenhofer; Lovell
Stewart Halebian Jacobson; and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd;
- For the commercial end-user plaintiffs: Cuneo Gilbert &
LaDuca; Girard Gibbs; and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check; and
- For the consumer end-user plaintiffs: Finkelstein
Thompson; and Strange & Carpenter.
Forrest also appointed nine other law firms to a so-called
steering committee for the direct purchaser plaintiffs. She did
not appoint similar committees for the other plaintiff groups.
Among the defendants are Goldman affiliates GS Power
Holdings LLC and Metro International Trade Services LLC,
JPMorgan warehousing affiliate Henry Bath LLC and
Baltimore-based warehousing company Pacorini Metals USA LLC.
Defendants had argued last month that the plaintiffs had
offered "very little information" about the parameters of the
proposed classes, leaving Forrest without enough facts to
determine that having three lawsuits was proper.
In December, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation consolidated 26 lawsuits filed nationwide over
accusations of aluminum price-fixing before Forrest, whom it
described as "well-versed in the nuances of complex antitrust
Last week, an unrelated lawsuit filed in New York accused
five other banks of manipulating the London benchmark gold
The case is In re: Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,