Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

JPMorgan Chase has potentially settled for $150 million with the AFTRA retirement fund and others to cover losses from toxic hedge fund investments. Lawyers for AFTRA and other plaintiffs in the case against the bank’s Sigma Finance fund called the proposed deal “fair, adequate and reasonable” in documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in New York. The plan now goes before Judge Shira Scheindlin in a final approval hearing set for June 4. ”Resolution of the case at this juncture “allow the parties to avoid the risks and costs associated with trial, as well as potential years of continued litigation on appeal,” said lawyer Peter LeVan Jr in the court filing, also posted on the JPMorgan Chase website. AFTRA filed an initial class action for breach of fiduciary duties” against the bank on January 23, 2009. The Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority Pension Fund and El Cento, California’s Imperial County Employees’ Retirement System sued soon after. All three allege that JPMorgan Chase ignored analysts “warning signs” in 2007 about the hedge fund and the “risks of Sigma’s inability to pay the Notes as they matured.” Because of this, AFTRA and the other investors say, the bank lost a “substantial portion” of their money.

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