After the relentless pounding the Securities and Exchange Commission has received for failing to expose Bernard Madoff’s fraud, it was probably only a matter of time before the agency was sued for negligence.

That time came Wednesday, when attorneys at Herrick Feinstein filed a complaint against the government (pdf) in Manhattan federal district court. Herrick represents two of Madoff’s victims — disabled retiree Phyllis Molchatsky and Dr. Steven Schneider — who lost more than $2.4 million between them.

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