In an opinion today, Judge Forrest dismissed as untimely claims by a Korean bank, Woori bank, against Citi arising from Woori’s investment in Citi-sponsored CDOs. Woori argued that it did not have the facts for its claims until the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report in 2011, but Judge Forrest — echoing a similar decision by Judge Marrero in a similar suit Woori filed against Merrill Lynch (see our post here) — ruled that the underlying facts were known well before then. Woori alleged one category of facts, relating to the “Class V CDO,” that were not in the Commission report and not at issue in the prior ruling from Judge Marrero, but Judge Forrest ruled that those allegations could not revive an otherwise expired claim:
The specific factual allegations relating to the Class V CDO collateral raise the following issue: do they represent a separate claim or are they part of the same claims plaintiffs allege based on facts known prior to May 2009? The answer to this question has obvious implications for the statute of limitations. If the facts relating to Class V are simply additional facts supporting the claims that accrued before May 2009, then the mere presence of those facts cannot revive a claim as to which the statute of limitations has run; nor would such facts restart an already-running statute of limitations. Put bluntly, facts suggestive of an even stronger fraud claim and which happen only to have been discovered more recently cannot revive that which was already moribund. . . . Plaintiff has not pled a separate fraud claim (or any type of claim) with respect to Citibank’s conduct in connection with Class V. The Court will not parse collected facts into independent claims. Instead, the Class V factual allegations are taken in the manner in which they are pled: as additional evidence supportive of plaintiff’s claims. It is simply one piece of evidence—a factual allegation—supporting a broader claim. Accordingly, the later-discovered Class V allegations cannot save a previously accrued claim from being time-barred.