Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ortiz v. United States Steel Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

August 16, 2017

CARMELO ORTIZ, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. KELLY PAYNE, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Cathy Bissoon United States District Judge.

         On May 3, 2017, Plaintiff Carmelo Ortiz, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, filed a Complaint against United States Steel Corporation, Mario Longhi and David B. Burritt, alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. (Doc. 1 at Civil Action 17-579). Then on May 17, 2017, Plaintiff Kelley Payne, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, filed a Complaint against United States Steel Corporation, Mario Longhi Filho and David B. Burritt, also alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. (Doc. 1 at Civil Action 17-660). Both actions are brought on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of United States Steel Corporation (“U.S. Steel”) between November 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017.

         Pursuant to stipulations filed by the parties, the Court entered a separate Order at each civil action number extending Defendants' answer date pending the Court's appointment of a lead plaintiff pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3) (the “PSLRA”). (Doc. 10 at 17-579 and Doc. 17 at 15-660). On May 4, 2017, the first notice that a class action had been initiated against Defendants U.S. Steel, Mario Longhi and David B. Burritt (collectively, “Defendants”) was published on PRNewswire, advising members of the proposed class of their right to move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff no later than 60 days after the issuance of the PRNewswire notice. See (Doc. 19 at ¶ 5; Doc. 19-2).

         Subsequent to the publication of the lawsuits, the Court received seven motions across both dockets requesting various forms of relief related to the appointment of a lead plaintiff. See (Docs. 12, 14, 17, 21 and 24 at 17-579 and Docs. 13 and 16 at 17-660). All but one Motion asks that the two separate civil actions be consolidated into one. C.f. Mot. by Teamsters Local 237 (Doc. 21).

         The Court will first address the Motions for Consolidation before proceeding to the appointment of a lead plaintiff and lead counsel. See 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(ii) (“If more than one action on behalf of a class asserting substantially the same claim or claims arising under this chapter has been filed, and any party has sought to consolidate those actions for pretrial purposes or for trial, the court shall not make the [lead plaintiff determination] until after the decision on the motion to consolidate is rendered.”) As many of the Motions to Consolidate point out, securities class actions are well-suited to consolidation pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a).

Consolidating shareholder class actions streamlines and simplifies pre-trial and discovery proceedings, motions practice, refinement of class action issues, consolidates clerical and administrative duties, preserves judicial resources, and generally reduces the confusion and delay that result from prosecuting related actions separately before two or more judges. Sterling, 2007 WL 4570729, at *2 (noting as well that consolidation would “facilitate the administration of justice and promote judicial economy without any foreseeable prejudice.”).

(Doc. 18 at 8-9).

         The Court finds that these two civil actions involve sufficiently common questions of law and fact such that consolidation is appropriate. Both actions present substantially similar factual and legal issues, stem from the same alleged scheme by Defendants, name the same or similar defendants and allege violations of federal securities law. Moreover, the proposed class for each action is identical - individuals who purchased common stock of U.S. Steel between November 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017. Accordingly, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(ii) and Rule 42(a) the Court hereby CONSOLIDATES the above-captioned cases (17-559 and 17-660), and any other subsequently filed related actions, under Civil Action Number 17-559 (“the Lead Case”). Until further notice, all filings in these consolidated cases shall be docketed under the Lead Case, and the parties may abbreviate their captions to read, “In re U.S. Steel Consolidated Cases, Civil Action No. 17-559, ” or a reasonable equivalent.

         The Court now turns to the question of who should serve as lead plaintiff. The PSLRA provides as straightforward, sequential procedure for selecting a lead plaintiff for “each private action arising under [the Exchange Act] that is brought as a plaintiff class action pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(1); see also 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B). First, the PSLRA specifies that:

Not later than 20 days after the date on which the complaint is filed, the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall cause to be published, in a widely circulated national business-oriented publication or wire service, a notice advising members of the purported plaintiff class - (I) of the pendency of the action, the claims asserted therein, and the purported class period; and (II) that, not later than 60 days after the date on which notice is published, any member of the purported may move the court to serve as lead plaintiff of the purported class.

15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(A)(i). Next, courts are to consider all motions made by class members and appoint the movant that the court determines to be most capable of adequately representing the interests of the class as lead plaintiff. 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(i).

         In adjudicating a lead plaintiff motion, a court adopts the presumption that the “most adequate plaintiff” is the person or group of persons who: (i) filed a complaint or made a motion to serve as lead plaintiff; (ii) “has the largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class”; and (iii) who “otherwise satisfies the requirements of Rule 23.” 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(iii)(I). This presumption may be rebutted by “proof” that the presumptively most adequate plaintiff “will not fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.” 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(iii)(II).

         Based on a thorough review of the filings in both civil actions, the Court finds that Christakis Vrakas satisfies the requirements of the “most adequate plaintiff.” Mr. Vrakas has met the requirement of 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(ii)(I)(aa) by timely filing motions at each civil action on July 3, 2017. See (Doc. 17 at 17-579 and Doc. 13 at 17-660). Moreover, there is consensus among all movants that Mr. Vrakas has the largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class. (Docs. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 at 17-579 and Doc. 21 at 17-660); see also (Doc. 19-1 at 3-4) (Loss Chart detailing Mr. Vrakas's losses in U.S. Steel totaling $2, 989, 482.59).

         Additionally, Mr. Vrakas satisfies the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in that he satisfies the typicality and adequacy requirements, thereby justifying his appointment as lead plaintiff. In re Cedant Corp. Litig., 264 F.3d 201, 264 (3d. Cir. 2011) (“[T]he Court's initial inquiry should be confined to determining whether such ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.