Merrill units win dismissal of some MBIA claims in lawsuit

Merrill Lynch units now owned by Bank of America won dismissal of claims in a lawsuit filed by MBIA Inc. last year over protection sold against mortgage-debt defaults. New York State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Fried, in Manhattan dismissed five of six claims against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and Merrill Lynch International, both now owned by Bank of America. The claims dismissed included claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation. The judge allowed a claim brought by MBIA, the largest bond insurer, for breach of contract, to proceed. “We are pleased that the judge’s decision will allow us to pursue significant breach-of-contract claims,” MBIA spokesman Kevin Brown said in an e-mailed statement.

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