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Federal appeals court upholds dismissal of lawsuit against Merrill Lynch

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Thursday upheld the dismissal [opinion, PDF] of a lawsuit brought by South Korea's Woori Bank against Bark of America's Merrill Lynch [corporate websites] unit. The lawsuit, which concerned losses from USD $143 million of collateralized debt obligations, was dismissed [Bloomberg report] in February by district court judge Victor Marrero because it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired. While the South Korean bank argued the clock on the three-year statute of limitations did not begin until January 2011 when a report on the causes of the housing market meltdown was published by the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission [official website], the appeals court agreed with the district court in holding that the number of investigations into Merrill Lynch should have given Woori sufficient notice more than three years before the lawsuit was filed.

The dismissal of this case is one of three defeats for Woori Bank in US federal court. The bank, which was put under state control after the financial crisis, also filed a lawsuit against Citigroup [official website] which was dismissed [Reuters report] in March. Merrill Lynch has been involved in many litigation matters in the past as well. In August a class of plaintiffs consisting of approximately 1200 African-American financial advisers reached a USD $160 million settlement [JURIST report] with Merrill Lynch in a racial discrimination lawsuit. In 2012 Bank of America announced [JURIST report] that it had agreed to pay USD $2.43 billion to settle a class action lawsuit with investors over its USD $18.5 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch in January 2009. In 2011 a federal appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the conviction of ex-Merrill Lynch executive James Brown for his role in the Enron fraud scandal.

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