Bank of America Corp. and its Merrill Lynch & Co. unit have asked a federal judge to dismiss consolidated shareholder complaints over inadequate disclosures about the investment bank's financial condition and its plans to pay billions of dollars in bonuses before the closing of their merger.
In separate motions filed last week, the Charlotte banking company and its Merrill investment banking unit asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to throw out several consolidated shareholder lawsuits, saying the shareholders are trying to improperly "second-guess" the business judgment of their boards.
Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis and former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain, who are defendants in the cases, also asked that the suits be dismissed.
"The profound and widespread consequences of the recent financial crisis have led to opportunistic, hyperbolic, hindsight attacks on the disclosures that the bank made to investors," Bank of America said.
A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, whose office represents two Ohio pension funds that are among the lead plaintiffs in the case, said the "lead plaintiff group looks forward to submitting our brief in opposition" to the motion to dismiss.