The U.S. Supreme Court gave Goldman Sachs Group Inc. a new chance to stop a lawsuit that accuses the company of misleading shareholders by masking conflicts of interest in mortgage-backed securities it sold.
The justices set aside a federal appeals court ruling that had let the suit go forward. Goldman and its business allies argued the ruling made it too easy for shareholders to press class action fraud lawsuits. The Supreme Court decision sends the case back to the appeals court level for a new look.
The investors, led by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, say they were deceived by Goldman Sachs’s repeated public assurances that it was being vigilant about avoiding conflicts of interests. The shareholders say those assurances proved false when the Securities and Exchange Commission sued the company in April 2010 over a portfolio known as Abacus.
Writing for the Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett said it wasn’t clear whether the New York-based appeals court “properly considered the generic nature of Goldman’s alleged misrepresentations.”
The case was the first high court clash over shareholder lawsuits since former President Donald Trump appointed three justices and created a 6-3 conservative majority.
“We are pleased the Supreme Court has vacated the grant of class certification and we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves as the case returns to the lower courts,” Maeve DuVally, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs said in an emailed statement.
Goldman’s stock jumped 2.4% at 10:26 a.m. in New York. That was in line with the rebound across the sector on Monday after shares of the major banks had slumped last week.
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