District judge puts Libor lawsuits on hold to consider earlier related suits

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald suspended several lawsuits related to Libor manipulation on Wednesday, saying that she first needed to sort through information from earlier related lawsuits.

“While parties are free to file new complaints—and, indeed, are encouraged by the court to do so if they do so promptly…I am imposing a stay on any action that is not the subject of a pending motion to dismiss,” Buchwald said, according to Chicago Tribune. “This stay will last until the current motions to dismiss are resolved.”

Buchwald is responsible for overseeing several class-action lawsuits filed earlier this year by plaintiffs ranging from major investors to municipal governments. Plaintiffs in these suits maintain that they were harmed by big banks’ alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, commonly known as Libor.

Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC and UBS are among those banks named in the suit, saying in court documents that the plaintiffs have no evidence as to how these institutions acted to cut out competition.

Buchwald said that she would begin to sift through motions filed by the banks to dismiss these older claims, adding that she is “assuming that this will work itself out in the next few weeks.” Additionally, Buchwald said that she had received a letter from the banks noting that plaintiffs should be allowed to reference the recent Barclays settlement with U.K. and U.S. authorities in future filings, Chicago Tribune reports.

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