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In exchange, the brokers paid Wells Fargo cash collateral that Wells Fargo would invest until the loaned securities were returned to the bank’s clients and the cash collateral was returned to the brokers.
The lawsuit focuses on the cash collateral investments Wells Fargo made largely from 2005 to 2008.
The trial that opened Tuesday involves a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo in 2011 by a group of about 13 institutional investors, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the North Memorial Health Care Pension Plan and the St. John’s University Endowment.
The trial, however, specifically covers the claims by just six of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit — those that are not covered by the Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Judge Frank will hear the claims of plaintiffs covered by ERISA separately.
Altogether, the six plaintiffs in the jury trial suffered $8.2 million in losses. If they are successful, lawyers will seek punitive damages, too.
Plaintiffs in the jury trial include CentraCare Health System, on behalf of itself and the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Retirement Plan; the Jerome Foundation, a nonprofit arts group in St. Paul; Nebraska Methodist Health System, the North Memorial Health Care Pension Plan; the Order of Saint Benedict, as the St. John’s University Endowment and the St. John’s Abbey Endowment; and the El Paso County Retirement Plan in Colorado.
Oddly, three Wells Fargo entities, including the bank itself, the Wells Fargo Foundation and a fixed-income fund that’s related to the bank, are members of that class and did not opt out of the lawsuit. “Wells Fargo is suing Wells Fargo,” Ciresi said.
The other plaintiffs include the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Pension Equity Plan; pension plans at Meijer Inc.; the International Truck and Engine Corp. Retiree Supplemental Benefit Trust; the Twin City Hospitals-Minnesota Nurses Association Pension Plan; the Twin Cities Hospital Pension Plan for Licensed Practical Nurses, and the Chicago Area Joint Welfare Committee for the Pointing, Cleaning and Caulking Industry Local 52.
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683