Ginn Michigan Lawsuit Faltering Following Recent Ruling

The first of a series of multi-party and class action suits brought against the Ginn Company is unraveling as presiding Judge Henry Lee Adams rules to sever (separate) the individual actions.

Palm Coast, FL – September 8, 2009 – Plaintiffs in the "Michigan lawsuit" against the Ginn Company do not fare well in a recent Florida ruling. In May ’07 ninety-nine Michigan residents filed a multi-party lawsuit against the Ginn Company. It was the first of a series of suits now said to total 30 against Bobby Ginn and/or his companies. The Plaintiffs, all of whom purchased property in one or more Ginn developments, alleged the Ginn Company had breached agreements and violated several laws, including the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
The number of plaintiffs has reportedly grown to 124. The suit was moved to the Middle District Federal Court of Florida in Jacksonville in 2008 and assigned to Judge Henry Lee Adams. July 27, Judge Adams ordered the severance of all individual claims, requiring each plaintiff to separately re-file their case and pay a filing fee within 20 days, extended to September 4th.
Adams ruling, initiated "sua sponte" (meaning by the court’s own action, not as a result of a motion by defendant) contains language which is bound to be analyzed closely by attorneys for plaintiffs in other pending cases as it exposes some of the problems facing broad-reaching lawsuits.
Here are some excerpts from court documents:
"Recognizing that Plaintiffs’ claims do not arise out of the same transactions or occurrences and that the nine causes of action and more than one hundred Plaintiffs, the consolidated action was unmanageable, Judge Adams entered an Order directing the Clerk of Courts to sever the claims of all Plaintiffs."
"The Court finds that the Complaint constitutes an impermissible "shotgun pleading."
"When faced with the extreme burden of deciphering a shotgun pleading, it is the trial courts obligation to strike the pleading on its own initiative and force the plaintiff to re-plead…" has learned that at least 8 individuals re-filed within the deadline. Those who did not re-file risk dismissal of their action.

The recent Order is the result of the Court’s own Order to Show Cause, issued July 16, 2008. The intervening year gives one a feeling for the pace to be expected in this and other suits.

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2 replies
  1. Phil Chanfrau
    Phil Chanfrau says:

    Basis for severance

    Although I am not defending the merits of the case, it is important to note that the almost univesal rule of law is to try all fraud cases independently, instead of as a class or pseudo-class action. Most Michigan Plaintiffs will likely disappear after this ruling. If I recall correctly, they are remote purchasers who had no direct contact with Ginn, and thus it would be hard to allege Ginn made any statements to them(false or otherwise) upon which they relied to their detriment.

  2. John
    John says:

    More to come

    This ruling isn’t really surprising. The other plaintiffs will fall by the wayside due to the cost and likelihood of the plaintiffs failing. There was SO much wrong with these deals on both sides of the table. Live and learn folks.

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