Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Class Action Against UBS

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On September 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal, as time-barred, of a class action brought by RMBS certificateholders against UBS over losses related to the RMBS. Filing suit in February 2010, the Plaintiffs alleged that UBS made misrepresentations in the RMBS offering documents concerning the mortgage loan originators’ compliance with their underwriting guidelines, the appraisal practices used in appraising the underlying properties and the loan-to-value ratios of the mortgage loans.  Plaintiffs asserted claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act. The Third Circuit held that Plaintiffs’ claims were time barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided by Section 13 of the Securities Act. Under the “discovery rule,” which the court held applies to Section 13, the statute begins to run on the date that a plaintiff did in fact discover, or reasonably should have discovered, the facts constituting the alleged violation. The court concluded that a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have begun investigating claims in connection with its certificates by September 2008, when a class of plaintiffs, including the lead plaintiff here, filed a separate suit against UBS (among others) making allegations similar to those in this case. The court further concluded that a reasonably diligent investigation conducted at that time would have led to knowledge of the claims asserted more than one year before the lawsuit was filed. Decision.