While the shareholders of Washington Mutual Inc. wait anxiously for the Nov. 1 examiner’s report in WMI’s Chapter 11 to find out if they have any hope of recovery through the bankruptcy process, they can rest assured that things are looking very good in their securities class action against some very deep-pocketed defendants. On Wednesday, Seattle federal district court Judge Marsha Pechman granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification (pdf), giving the green light to investors who bought WaMu shares in three offerings between 2005 and 2008, when the company went bust.
Pechman previously denied defense motions to dismiss the securities class action (pdf), so the WMI shareholders will now proceed to court-ordered mediation against four groups of defendants: the former officers of Washington Mutual Inc. (represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett); the former WMI directors (represented by Perkins Coie); 15 underwriters, including most of the biggest investment and commercial banks in the U.S. (represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher); and WaMu’s former auditor, Deloitte & Touche (represented by Latham & Watkins).
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