United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
class plaintiffs filed Motions to Consolidate (Docs. 25, 26,
28, 29) similar cases against Defendant CenturyLink, Inc. and
related Defendants for violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. For the following reasons the Motions to
Consolidate (Docs. 25, 26, 28, 29) are GRANTED.
the Court is a complaint filed pursuant to the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78aa, et
seq.) by Plaintiff Benjamin Craig (“Craig”),
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated.
The named Defendants are CenturyLink, Inc.
(“CenturyLink”) (its common stock is traded on
the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”)), Glen F.
Post III (“Post”) (the CEO and President of
CenturyLink Inc. at all relevant times), and R. Stewart
Ewing, Jr. (“Ewing”) (CFO, Executive Vice
President, and Assistant Secretary of CenturyLink Inc. at all
alleges a federal securities class action on behalf of all
investors who purchased or otherwise acquired CenturyLink
common stock between March 1, 2013 and June 16, 2017 (the
“Class Period”). Craig alleges that CenturyLink
publicly issued materially false and misleading statements
and omitted material facts regarding its compliance with
applicable laws and regulations, causing its stock prices to
artificially inflate. Craig alleges that he and other
investors suffered significant losses and damages when the
truth as to CenturyLink's unlawful business practices
emerged and its stock prices fell.
seeks certification of the class action, appointment of
himself as class representative, appointment of his attorney
as lead counsel, a jury trial, compensatory damages, costs
(including expert fees), attorney fees, and injunctive
case was originally filed in the Southern District of New
York (Doc. 1). On stipulation of the parties and a finding
that the case could have originally been brought in the
Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, the case was
ordered transferred to the Western District of Louisiana
related stockholder suit, Scott v. CenturyLink, No.
17-1033 (W.D. La.) (“Scott”), was filed
in the United States District Court for the Western District
of Louisiana, Monroe Division. That case is also a federal
securities class action on behalf of all persons and entities
who purchased or otherwise acquired CenturyLink securities
between March 1, 2013 and June 19, 2017. In Scott,
Plaintiff Don J. Scott (“Scott”) named as
Defendants CenturyLink, Post, Ewing, and David D. Cole
(“Cole”). Scott also seeks certification of his
suit as a class action, appointment of Scott as class
representative, appointment of Scott's counsel as Class
Counsel, damages, costs, attorney fees, and injunctive relief
other stockholder suits have been filed against CenturyLink
in the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division):
Thummeti v. CenturyLink, et al., 3:17-cv-01065 (W.D.
La.); Barbree, et al. v. Bejar, et al., No.
3:17-cv-01177 (W.D. La.). Barbree has since been voluntarily
dismissed (Barbree, No. 3:17-cv-01177, Doc. 3).
Thus, to date, there are three stockholder actions against
CenturyLink in the Western District of Louisiana.
August 2017, KBC Asset Management NV (“KBC”), a
potential class plaintiff, filed a “Motion for
Consolidation, Appointment as Lead Plaintiff, and Approval of
Selection of Counsel” (Doc. 25). KBC asked the Court to
consolidate the Craig and Scott cases.
motions were filed by other potential class plaintiffs, the
Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit, and
the Laborer's Pension Trust Fund- Detroit and Vicinity
(Doc. 26), the State of Oregon (Doc. 28), and Amalgamated
Bank, as Trustee for the Long View Collective Investment Fund
Law and Analysis
to 15 U.S.C. § 78u4(a)(3)(B)(ii), “[i]f 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 determination required by clause (i) until after the
decision on the motion to consolidate is rendered. As soon as
practicable after such decision is rendered, the court shall
appoint the most adequate plaintiff as lead plaintiff ...