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IN RE UNIVERSAL LIFE RESOURCES CONTINGENCY FEE CASES
August 29, 2005.
In re UNIVERSAL LIFE RESOURCES CONTINGENCY FEE CASES. This Document Relates To: ALL ACTIONS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DANA SABRAW, District Judge
TO: ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23(e)(1)(A) and 41(a)(1)(i),*fn1 plaintiffs
Cynthia C. Brandes and Alicia A. Pombo ("plaintiffs") hereby
dismiss this action without prejudice as to all defendants.
This action is subject to a Conditional Transfer Order ("CTO"),
issued on June 1, 2005 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation. The CTO conditionally transferred this matter to In
re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663, No.
04-CV-5184-FSH-PS, a multidistrict litigation proceeding before
the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg in the District of New Jersey
(the "MDL Court").
Plaintiffs dismiss this action in the interest of promoting
judicial economy and the efficient prosecution of the pending
litigation based on, inter alia, the following reasons: (1)
pursuant to pretrial orders, the MDL Court bifurcated the MDL
proceedings and established two separate tracks for the
commercial insurance cases and employee benefits insurance cases
such as this one; (2) the MDL Court further ordered that the two
distinct types of claims be asserted in separate amended
complaints and separate RICO case statements; (3) the MDL Court
also established a leadership structure for the MDL proceedings
which includes the appointment of Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman &
Balint, P.C., specifically for the purpose of serving as liaison
counsel for the employee benefits claims and Milberg Weiss
Bershad & Schulman as Co-Lead Counsel both those counsel are
counsel for the class here, assuring that counsel here will have
a meaningful role in the litigation of these claims in the MDL
proceedings; (4) the First Consolidated Amended Employee Benefits
Class Action Complaint ("MDL Complaint"), filed in the MDL
proceedings on August 1, 2005, asserts claims for violation of
RICO, ERISA, the Sherman Act and various state law claims on
behalf of two classes (employer and employee classes); (5)
plaintiffs here are named class representatives in the MDL Complaint and are now parties to those proceedings; (6) the
MDL proceedings are more comprehensive and subsume many of the
claims asserted here and are moving rapidly, insuring that the
class' claims will be resolved expeditiously; and (7) it is
virtually certain that this matter will be transferred to the MDL
Court because of the foregoing reasons and the pleadings filed
before the MDL panel.
Finally, dismissal of this action will not prejudice any party
to this action, as all parties are included in the MDL
proceedings and are actively litigating the class claims in that
forum, including substantial discovery, which is underway.
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