Crowder to hear motions in 2003 Putnam class actions

Amelia Flood May 19, 2010, 5:10am



Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder is set to hear all pending motions in two investment class actions against Putnam Investments that have bounced back and forth between Madison County and federal court.

Meanwhile, the defendants in the cases have moved to dismiss them, citing an appellate court opinion in a similar class action suit, Kircher v. Putnam Funds Trust.

The two cases up for hearing against Putnam International Equity Fund and Putnam Investment Funds, led by plaintiffs Steve and Beth Dudley, returned to Madison County most recently May 11.

Those suits were among a series of cases filed against the Putnam defendants in 2003.

The Dudleys and the classes allege that Putnam negligently managed their mutual funds investments and that the companies were reckless with their clients' investments.

Crowder will hear the pending motions in the two cases at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

The defendants argue that the 1998 Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act precludes the suits.

The Kircher case, led by plaintiffs Carl Kircher and Robert Brockway, has similar claims as the Dudleys' suits. Kircher also was brought in 2003 by the same group of plaintiff attorneys, Stephen Tillery and Christine Moody.

In Kircher, the appellate court found that the claims were precluded by the Securities Litigation Act.

In a unanimous decision, Justices Stephen Spomer, Melissa Chapman and Bruce Stewart sent the Kircher case back to Madison County for dismissal. That order came down in January.

The Dudley case was most recently removed to federal court in April of this year, returning last week.

It was remanded due to a defect in the April removal.

Rebecca Jackson and others represent the defendants.

Crowder is also assigned to the Kircher case.

The Dudley cases are Madison case numbers 03-L-1539 and 03-L-1540.
The Kircher case is Madison case number 03-L-1255.

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