Supreme Court to hear Vioxx fraud case
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday granted certiorari in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds [docket; cert. petition], in which the Court will decide when the statute of limitations begins to run in a securities fraud case under th "inquiry notice" standard. Investors brought a class action suit against the drug maker Merck & Co. in November 2003, alleging that it had deliberately concealed information about the safety record of its painkiller Vioxx . The case was dismissed by US District Court Judge Stanley Chester in April 2007 after he determined that investors were on "inquiry notice" of the alleged fraud in September 2001 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning letter about the painkiller. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case in September 2008, finding that Chester had "acted prematurely in finding as a matter of law that [the investors] were on inquiry notice of the alleged fraud."