A Pass For Lehman Rating Agencies

Law360, New York (May 31, 2011, 3:07 PM EDT) -- On May 11, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of three class action complaints that sought to hold rating agencies liable for misstatements or omissions in securities offering documents. The plaintiffs had alleged that the rating agencies were liable as "underwriters" or "control persons" under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.

The Second Circuit rejected the plaintiffs' underwriter theory of liability, explaining that "[t]he plain language of the statute limits liability to persons who participate in the purchase, offer or...
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