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Sciabacucchi v. Barton

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

February 5, 2018

MATTHEW SCIABACUCCHI, derivatively on behalf of ZILLOW GROUP, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD N. BARTON, et al., Defendants.

          Duncan C. Turner, Badgley Mullins Turner PLLC, Robert B. Weiser Brett D. Stecker, James. M Ficaro, The Weiser Law Firm, P.C., GAINEY McKENNA & EGLESTON, Thomas J. McKenna, Gregory M. Egleston, Proposed Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs.

          Ronald L. Berenstain, Sean C. Knowles, Perkins Coie LLP, Meryl L. Young, Gibson, Dunn & Crut cher LLP Ronald L. Berenstain, Alexander K. Mircheff, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Attorneys for Defendants Richard N. Barton, Erik C. Blachford, Lloyd D. Frink, Jay C. Hoag, Gregory B. Maffei, Spencer M. Rascoff, Gordon S. Stephenson, Gregory L. Waldorf, Kathleen Philips, April Underwood and Nominal Defendant Zillow Group, Inc.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on the parties' stipulation and proposed order to consolidate, appoint lead plaintiffs and counsel, and stay proceedings (Dkt. No. 21). On October 23, 2017, Plaintiff Matthew Sciabachucchi filed this verified shareholder derivative complaint (“Derivative Action”) against Defendants. (Dkt. No. 1.) On January 8, 2018, Melvyn Klein filed a nearly identical shareholder derivative complaint against Defendants. See Melvyn Klein v. Richard Barton, , No. C18-0027-JCC, Dkt. No. 1 (W.D. Wash. January 8, 2018).[1]Also pending before this Court, is a related securities class action (“Securities Action”) that shares substantial factual overlap with both Derivative Actions. See In re Zillow Group, Inc., No. C17-1387-JCC, Dkt. No. 29 (W.D. Wash. 2017, January 5, 2018).

         The parties in both Derivative Actions now stipulate that: (1) the Derivative Actions should be consolidated for all purposes; (2) Sciabachucchi and Klein should be appointed lead plaintiffs in the consolidated Derivative Action; (3) The Weiser Law Firm, P.C. and Gainey McKenna & Egleston should be appointed co-lead counsel, with Badgley Mullins Turner PLLC appointed liaison counsel; and (4) the consolidated Derivative Action should be stayed pending the Court's adjudication of a motion to dismiss in the Securities Action. (Dkt. No. 21 at 3-7.)

         The Derivative Actions should be consolidated because they involve common questions of fact and law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a)(1). The Court additionally finds that it is appropriate for the fair and efficient administration of this consolidated action to appoint Sciabachucchi and Klein as lead plaintiffs and to appoint their selected attorneys as co-lead and liaison counsel. Finally, the Court finds that all proceedings should be stayed in this consolidated action pending the resolution of Defendants' motion to dismiss in the Securities Action. See 15 U.S.C. § 78u- 4(b)(3)(B) (“In any private action arising under this chapter, all discovery and other proceedings shall be stayed during the pendency of any motion to dismiss . . . .”)

         Given the above determinations, the Court ENTERS the following stipulation:

         CONSOLIDATION OF THE ACTIONS

         1. Defendants hereby agree to accept service of the operative complaints in each of the Derivative Actions.

         2. Defendants are not required to take any action with respect to the complaints filed in the Derivative Actions, including answering or otherwise responding.

         3. The Derivative Actions are hereby consolidated for all purposes, including pretrial proceedings, trial, and appeal, and are referred to herein as the “Consolidated Action.”

         4. Every pleading filed in the Consolidated Action, or in any separate action included herein, shall bear the following caption:

IN RE ZILLOW GROUP, INC. SHAREHOLDER DERIVATIVE ...

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