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.

In re CenturyLink Sales Practices and Securities Litigation

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 20, 2018

IN RE CENTURYLINK SALES PRACTICES AND SECURITIES LITIGATION This Document Relates to Civil File No. 18-296 (MJD/KMM) Civil File No. 18-297 (MJD/KMM) Civil File No. 18-298 (MJD/KMM) Civil File No. 18-299 (MJD/KMM)

          John Browne and Michael D. Blatchley, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP; and Keith S. Dubanevich, Timothy S. Dejong, and Keil M. Mueller, Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter P.CV Special Assistant Attorneys General and Counsel for Lead Plaintiff the State of Oregon by and through the Oregon State Treasurer and the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Board, on behalf of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, and Lead Counsel for the Class; and Richard A. Lockridge, Gregg M. Fishbein, and Kate M. Baxter-Kauf, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Local Counsel for Lead Plaintiff the State of Oregon by and through the Oregon State Treasurer and the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Board, on behalf of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund.

          William B. Federman, Federman & Sherwood, and Gregg M. Corwin, Gregg M. Corwin & Associate Law Office, PC, Counsel for Inter-Marketing Group USA, Inc.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

          Michael J. Davis United States District Court

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Motion of Lead Plaintiff Oregon for Consolidation of Related Action (MDL [Docket No. 53]) and Motion of Inter- Marketing Group USA, Inc. for Appointment as Lead Plaintiff and Approval of Lead Counsel (MDL [Docket No. 46]). The Court heard oral argument on April 17, 2018.

         II. BACKGROUND

         As alleged in Plaintiffs' complaints:

         On Friday, June 16, 2017, Bloomberg reported that a former CenturyLink, Inc. ("CenturyLink) sales representative, Heidi Heiser, had filed a lawsuit against CenturyLink in Arizona state court because she was "fired for blowing the whistle on the telecommunications company's high-pressure sales culture that left customers paying millions of dollars for accounts they didn't request." (Craig, Civil File No. 18-296 [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 45; IMG, Civil File No. 18-299 [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 5.) The whistleblower alleged that CenturyLink engaged in systemic misconduct by signing up and charging customers for services that they did not request and that she was "fired days after notifying Chief Executive Officer Glen Post of the alleged scheme." (Craig Compl. ¶ 45; IMG Compl. ¶ 5.) CenturyLink's stock dropped 4.5% from June 15, 2017 to June 16, 2017. (Craig Compl. ¶ 46.)

         On Monday, June 19, 2017, Bloomberg reported that a consumer class action complaint had been filed against CenturyLink based on the whistleblower complaint alleging fraud, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment and seeking damages up to $12 billion. (Craig Compl. ¶ 47; IMG Compl. ¶ 6.) CenturyLink stock dropped another $0.36 on June 19, 2017. (Scott, Civil File No. 18-297 [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 86.) CenturyLink's 7.60% Senior Notes dropped 6%. (IMG Compl. ¶ 7.)

         A. Procedural History

         In February 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred four federal securities actions to this Court for inclusion in MDL No. 2795: Craig v. CenturyLink, Inc., Civil File No. 18-296 (MJD/KMM); Scott v. CenturyLink Inc., Civil File No. 18-297 (MJD/KMM); Thummeti v. CenturyLink, Inc., Civil File No. 18-298 (MJD/KMM); and Inter-Marketing Group USA Inc. v. CenturyLink, Inc., Civil File No. 18-299 (MJD/KMM). At the time of the transfer, there were several outstanding motions.

         1. Thummeti Complaint

         On June 21, 2017, the first securities class action lawsuit based on revelation of the whistleblower's allegations, Thummeti, was filed in the Southern District of New York, on behalf of "all persons . . . who purchased or otherwise acquired CenturyLink securities between February 27, 2014 and June 15, 2017." (Thummeti [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 1].) Also on June 21, the Thummeti plaintiff published a notice of pendency on Globe Newswire telling investors "who purchased CenturyLink securities" that the deadline to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff was August 21, 2017. (Craig [Docket No. 28-5] Sartor Deck, Ex. C.)

         2. Craig Complaint

         On June 22, the Craig securities class action was filed against CenturyLink in the Southern District of New York "on behalf of all individuals and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired CenturyLink common stock on the public market during the Class Period." (Craig [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 57.) The Class Period was March 1, 2013, to June 16, 2017. (Id., ¶ 1.)

         On August 8, based on the parties' stipulation, the Craig case was transferred to the Western District of Louisiana. (Craig [Docket No. 8].) On August 16, based on the parties' stipulation, the Thummeti case was also transferred to the Western District of Louisiana. (Thummeti [Docket No. 7].)

         3. Scott Complaint

         On August 15, the Scott case was filed in the Western District of Louisiana against CenturyLink "on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired CenturyLink securities between March 1, 2013 and June 19, 2017." (Scott [Docket No. 1] Compl. ¶ 1.) On August 15, a notice of pendency of the Scott action was published in Business Wire alerting investors "who purchased CenturyLink shares between March 1, 2013 and June 19, 2017" that the deadline to move for appointment as Lead Plaintiff was August 21, 2017. (Craig [Docket No. 28-6] Sartor Deck, Ex. D.) At least 10 notices were published alerting investors in all CenturyLink "securities" of the need to file a motion seeking Lead Plaintiff appointment by August 21, 2017. (IMG [Docket No. 29-4] Blatchley Deck, Ex. D.)

         4. First Motion to Consolidate ...


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.