A federal judge has put the kibosh on class-action status for a group of shareholders accusing Deutsche Bank AG of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage-backed securities during the run-up to the financial meltdown.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Forrest denied class-action status for the shareholders in a ruling Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. Forrest ruled that an expert hired by the shareholders was unqualified to determine whether the market for Deutsche Bank shares was efficient.
“For this court to rely on testimony from someone who lacks real expertise asks this court to dispense with the need for real qualifications,” Forrest wrote. Her ruling does not prevent shareholders from proceeding against the bank individually, according to Reuters.
Forrest found that the plaintiff’s expert, Michael Marek, apparently gained his expertise solely by acting as an expert witness in class-action lawsuits. Marek, Forrest wrote, had “not been specially trained by academics in the field; he has not written articles, taught any courses, or conducted any relevant research.”
Marek’s only training, the judge ruled “appears to have been one year he spent working for a firm after college and then his work for an economist who was later indicted for submitting false declarations.”
The shareholders’ lawsuit, filed in 2011, alleges that the bank sold mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations it knew were risky without informing investors of that risk, Reuters reported. The suit also accuses the lender of misrepresenting its risk-management policies.