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.

WEINBERG v. ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS

May 19, 2003

SOL WEINBERG, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH, AND MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER, DEFENDANTS. GEORGE FOXHALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., F/K/A ATLAS AIR, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH, AND STANLEY J. GADEK, DEFENDANTS. THOMAS INGOGLIO, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY DEFENDANTS. BARRY ZEMEL, CPA MONEY PURCHASE PLAN & TRUST DTD 2/1/89, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH AND STANLEY J. GADEK, DEFENDANTS. JOHN COLBY, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., F/K/A ATLAS AIR, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH, AND STANLEY J. GADEK, DEFENDANTS. LINDA J. BACCHESCHI, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF, AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH, AND MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER, DEFENDANTS. BENJAMIN H. TROEMEL, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF AGAINST ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., RICHARD H. SHUYLER, JAMES T. MATHENY, BRIAN ROWE, DOUGLAS A. CARTY, STUART G. WEINROTH AND STANLEY J. GADEK, DEFENDANTS.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: William Conner, Senior District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

The matter before this Court is the proposed consolidation of the above captioned actions and any related matters and the appointment of Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel in this securities class action against defendant Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. ("Atlas Air") pursuant to FED. R. Civ. P. 42(a), § 27(a)(3)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and § 21D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, ("Exchange Act") each as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA"). Atlas Air is being sued for violations of §§ 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, Rule 10b-5 promulgated under § 10(b) and §§ 11, 12(a)2 and 20(a) of the Securities Act.

The following parties have moved for appointment as Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel respectively: 1) Sol Weinberg ("Weinberg") and the law firm of Wolf Popper, LLP; 2) Messner & Smith ("Messner") and the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP and 3) The Massachusetts State Carpenters Pension Fund and the Massachusetts State Guaranteed Annuity Fund for Consolidation (collectively the "Pension Fund") and the law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach ("Milberg Weiss").*fn1 After submitting separate moving papers for appointment as Lead Plaintiff Messner and the Pension Fund informed the Court that they planned to seek appointment as joint Lead Plaintiffs, with Schiffrin & Barroway and Milberg Weiss seeking appointment as co-Lead Counsel. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion for consolidation, appoints Messner as Lead Plaintiff and Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP as Lead Counsel.

BACKGROUND

Atlas Air is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Purchase, New York. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3.) It provides aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance for airlines. (Id.) Plaintiffs, who purchased shares of Atlas Air common stock during the designated class period from April 18, 2000 through October 15, 2002, claim that Atlas Air materially overstated its financial results during the class period. (Id.; Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 1-2.)

On the morning of October 16, 2002, Atlas Air announced that it would be initiating a reaudit of its financial statements for the fiscal years 2000 and 2001. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3; Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 2.) Atlas Air stated that its preliminary indications were that the cumulative impact through 2001 would reduce after-tax income by roughly $60 million to $65 million. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3; Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 2.) That day, Atlas Air stock fell $0.79 per share and the stock ultimately traded as low as $1.71 per share, more than $40.00 below its highest trading price during the class period. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3; Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3.)

Now, Messner jointly moves with the Pension Fund to consolidate the actions and to be appointed co-Lead Plaintiffs, with their aforesaid law firms acting as co-Lead Counsel. Messner claims to have lost approximately $4,380,419.00 and the Pension Fund claims to have lost $542,724.58 on purchases of Atlas Air stock during the class period due to the alleged misstatements. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 6; Pl. Pension Fund Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 1.)

Weinberg also seeks to be Lead Plaintift or in the alternative, to be appointed Lead Plaintiff for the Securities Act claims. (Pl. Weinberg Reply Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 9.) Atlas Air issued a September Prospectus and a May Prospectus, both demonstrating substantial quarterly and annual growth, which Weinberg alleges to be false, and which are now the subject of the re-audit. (Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3.) Public offerings followed each prospectus, one in May of 2000 and the other in September of 2000. Weinberg bought stock based on the September Prospectus and bases the Securities Act claims on that purchase. He argues that he is the only one of the purported plaintiffs who has standing to pursue these claims because neither Messner nor the Pension Fund purchased Atlas Air shares in the September 2000 secondary public offering pursuant to the September 2000 Prospectus, and therefore neither can sue on the Securities Act claims. (Id. at 6.) Weinberg claims a loss of $42,100. (Id. at 5.)

DISCUSSION

I. Consolidation

Actions in federal court may be consolidated when there are common questions of law or fact. FED. R. Civ. P. 42(a); Johnson v. Celotex Corp., 899 F.2d 1281, 1284 (2d Cir. 1990). Here, all plaintiffs are purchasers of Atlas Air securities who relied on what they claim to be materially false and misleading statements and omissions during the class period. (Pl. Messner Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 43; Pl. Weinberg Mem. Supp. App. Lead Pl. at 3.) Accordingly, all related actions are consolidated.

II. Standards for Appointing Lead Plaintiff

The PSLRA governs the appointment of Lead Plaintiff and provides specific requirements that must be met. In re Initial Pub. Offerings Sec. Litig., No. 21 MC. 92, 2002 WL 31894620, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 27, 2002). The PSLRA requires the Court to adopt a rebuttable presumption that the most adequate plaintiff is the person or group of persons that:

(aa) has either filed the complaint or made a motion in response to a notice under subparagraph (A)(i);
(bb) in the determination of the court, has the largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class; and
(cc) otherwise satisfies the requirements of Rule 23 of the ...

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.