A federal judge ruled that America’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, will have to face a class-action lawsuit that claims the bank gave misleading advice to a group of investors, convincing them to buy $10 billion of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. According to a Reuters report, the Tuesday ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken ordered that JPMorgan was liable but did not specify damages.
The lawsuit said JPMorgan told prospective investors that the underwriting, appraisals and credit quality of the home loans were more stable than they actually were. The bank initially tried to avoid the class-action suit by arguing that the claims were based on the advice of many different originators and several thousand underwriting guidelines.
According to the report, Judge Oetken was not able to rule on damages because it was not clear how to appropriately determine the value of the certificates that investors bought because the industry was “not particularly liquid.” Oetken did say that lead plaintiffs, the Laborers Pension Trust Fund for Northern California and Construction Laborers Pension Trust for Southern California, led by counsel from Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, could try to file again to certify a class on damages.
The class suit involves those who invested in these certificates prior to March 23, 2009 from a batch of trusts that JPMorgan created in April 2007. Judge Oetken’s ruling comes less than year after JPMorgan reached a $13 billion settlement with U.S. and state probes into the banks mortgage-backed securities.