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.

Durigon v. The Toronto-Dominion Bank

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 13, 2017

ARMANDO DURIGON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE TORONTO-DOMINION BANK, et al., Defendants. JANET TUCCI, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE TORONTO-DOMINION BANK, et al., Defendants.

          LAUREN M. ROSEN THE ROSEN LAW FIRM, PA On behalf of Plaintiff Armando Durigon and Movants Diana Lawler, V Rao Dandamudi, and Sujata Dandamudi in 17-1665.

          BRUCE DANIEL GREENBERG LITE DEPALMA GREENBERG, LLC On behalf of Plaintiff Janet Tucci and Movant Ethan Silverman in 17-1735 and proposed liaison counsel for the class.

          JAMES E. CECCHI CARELLA BYRNE CECCHI OLSTEIN BRODY & AGNELLO, P.C. On behalf of Movant John Gilbert [2] in 17-1665.

          SUSAN M. LEMING WILLIAM M. TAMBUSSI BROWN & CONNERY, LLP On behalf of Defendants The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bharat Masrani, Colleen Johnston, and Riaz Ahmed in 17-1665 and 17-1735.

          POMERANTZ LLP JEREMY A. LIEBERMAN J. ALEXANDER HOOD II HUI M. CHANG Counsel for Movant Ethan Silverman and proposed co-lead counsel for the class.

          POMERANTZ LLP PATRICK V. DAHLSTROM Counsel for Movant Ethan Silverman and proposed co-lead counsel for the class.

          GOLDBERG LAW PC MICHAEL GOLDBERG BRIAN SCHALL SHERIN MAHDAVIAN Counsel for Movant Ethan Silverman and proposed co-lead counsel for the class.

          OPINION [1]

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This Opinion concerns two federal securities class actions filed in this Court alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act by Defendants. Ethan Silverman moves for consolidation, appointment as lead plaintiff, and approval of class counsel. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the motion for consolidation and will appoint Silverman as lead plaintiff of the consolidated action. The Court will reserve its decision on the approval of Pomerantz LLP and Goldberg Law PC as co-lead counsel and Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC as liaison counsel pending supplemental briefing.

         I.

         The Court takes the following facts from the two complaints. On December 3, 2015, The Toronto-Dominion Bank filed an annual report on Form 40-F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announcing its financial and operating results for the fiscal year that ended October 31, 2015. On December 1, 2016, The Toronto-Dominion Bank filed an annual report on Form 40-F with the SEC, announcing its financial and operating results for the fiscal year that ended October 31, 2016. Certifications attached to the forms certified to the accuracy of the financial information contained therein.

         In March 2017, CBC News published a report revealing that unrealistic sales goals led Toronto-Dominion Bank employees to engage in illegal conduct. Between December 3, 2015 and this March 2017 publication, class members purchased securities from The Toronto-Dominion Bank. The publication of this report resulted in shares falling in value and in damages to the class members.

         A complaint was filed in the 17-1665 action on March 12, 2017 by Plaintiff Armando Durigon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated. A complaint was filed in the 17-1735 action on March 15, 2017 by Janet Tucci, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated.[3] The complaints allege various statements made by The Toronto-Dominion Bank in SEC filings were “materially false and/or misleading” and that they failed to disclose material adverse facts. Specifically, the following is alleged:

(1) the Company's wealth asset growth and increased fee-based revenue was spurred by a performance management system that led to its employees breaking the law at their customer's expense in order to meet sales targets;
(2) the Company illicitly increased customer's lines of credit and overdraft protection amounts without their knowledge;
(3) the Company illicitly upgraded customers to higher-fee accounts without informing them;
(4) the Company lied to customers as to the risk of the Company's products; and
(5) as a result, Defendants' statements about the Company's business, operations, and prospects were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

         The complaints bring claims for violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, against all defendants and violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the individual defendants.

         On May 11, 2017 in the 17-1665 action, Diana Lawler, V Rao Dandamudi, and Sujata Dandamudi moved for consolidation, for appointment as lead plaintiffs, and for approval of class counsel. Also on May 11, 2017 in the 17-1665 action, John Gilbert moved to consolidate, for appointment as lead plaintiff, and for approval of class counsel. Also on May 11, 2017 in the 17-1665 action and in the 17-1735 action, Silverman moved for consolidation, appointment as lead plaintiff, and for approval of class counsel.[4]

         On May 22, 2017, Lawler, Dandamudi, and Dandamudi filed a notice of non-opposition to Silverman's motion, stating they “reviewed the competing lead plaintiff motions [and] do not appear to have the largest financial interest as it appears Movant Ethan Silverman has the largest financial interest in this action.” Also on May 22, 2017, Gilbert filed a notice of non-opposition indicating, based on his review of the other motions, he does not have the largest financial interest.

         Defendants The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bharat Masrani, Colleen Johnston, and Riaz Ahmed do not oppose consolidation and take no position on the motions to appoint lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in both actions.

         II.

         The Court begins by addressing Silverman's motion to consolidate.[5] Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) provides: “If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may . . . consolidate the actions . . . .” “The [Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA)] . . . directs that cases should be consolidated where there is ‘more than one action on behalf of a class asserting substantially the same claim or claims.'” In Re Lucent Techs. Sec. Litig., 221 F.Supp.2d 472, 480 (D.N.J. 2001) (quoting 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(ii)).

         “The decision as to whether consolidation is appropriate embraces concerns of judicial economy, as well as judicial discretion.” Id.

Neither the PSLRA nor Rule 42 requires that pending suits be identical before they can be consolidated. Rather, in deciding whether to consolidate actions under Rule 42(a), it must be considered “whether the specific risks of prejudice and possible confusion [are] overborne by the risk of inconsistent adjudications of common factual and legal issues, the burden on the parties, witnesses, lawsuits, the length of time required to conclude multiple lawsuits as against a single one, and the relative expense to all concerned of the single-trial, multiple-trial alternatives.

Id. (alteration in original) (quoting In re Consol. Parlodel Sec. Litig., 182 F.R.D. 441, 444 (D.N.J. 1998)). “In the absence of an articulated basis to assert confusion or prejudice, consolidation is generally appropriate.” Id.

         The Court finds consolidation of these cases appropriate. The complaints are brought against the same Defendants in both actions: The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Masrani, Johnston, and Ahmed. Both assert violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, and violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. Both complaints also preliminarily define an identical class consisting of people and ...


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.