Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiff Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Common Class Action Defendants or by Plaintiffs in New York Class Action, and Transfers Class Actions to Northern District of Oklahoma
Two class actions – one in Oklahoma and one in New York – were filed against SemGroup Energy Partners alleging violations of federal securities laws; specifically, the class action complaints alleged that defendants “made materially false and misleading statements which artificially inflated the price of SGLP common stock in violation of the federal securities laws” In re SemGroup Energy Partners, L.P., Securities Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. October 10, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Plaintiffs in the Oklahoma class action filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Northern District of Oklahoma; plaintiffs in the New York class action supported the motion but argued alternatively for transfer of the class actions to the Southern District of New York. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and agreed that the Northern District of Oklahoma was the appropriate transferee court, particularly as it was supported by all parties and because “SGLP, its general partner and affiliated individual defendants are located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and parties, witnesses and documents may be found there.” Id., at 1-2. Accordingly, the Panel centralized the class actions in Oklahoma, id., at 2.