Class-action lawsuits against Bitfinex/Tether could merge

After being accused, once again, of manipulating the price of BTC, Tether and Bitfinex knew that they would have to defend themselves in public.  It didn’t take long for several lawsuits to surface, one of which was recently removed from Washington State to be refiled in New York.  Now that all three cases are in the New York court system, it’s possible that they could be consolidated into a single, larger case.

The cases are labeled David Leibowitz et al, Eric Young et al and Bryan Faubus et al, and, according to court documents from last week, the plaintiffs have put forth the suggestion that the three be conducted through solitary litigation.  The request, presented by the various lawyers involved, reads, “We represent the Plaintiffs in the …actions.  We respectfully write in [response] to your Honor’s Orders dated January 13, 2020 and January 15, 2020 requesting the parties’ position regarding consolidation of the Related Actions.  In addition, we respectfully request that the Court enter an order synchronizing the briefing schedules in connection with the pending motions to appoint interim lead counsel pursuant to Rule 2.C of the Court’s Individual Practices.  Plaintiffs in the Related Actions have conferred with counsel for Defendants who do not oppose the relief sought.”  Since they have all been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, conjoining them should not be difficult.

A fourth case, also filed in New York, could be added to the mix.  That case, as do the others, carries class-action status and was filed by Joseph Ebanks last Thursday.  Also as has been seen in the other cases, the primary allegation is that Tether and Bitfinex worked together to propel BTC’s meteoric price increase in 2017.

Tether and Bitfinex aren’t concerned about the merger of the lawsuits, asserting that bringing them together will not only save time and headaches, but will make it easier for them to prove their innocence.  They accepted the request and Tether issued a response to the consolidation, stating that it looks forward to defending itself in court.  It added, “Tether will continue to defend the digital token ecosystem and the many contributions of the cryptocurrency community, and will not now or in the future pay any amount to settle plaintiffs’ claims.”

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