Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SCOTUS Permits Vioxx Suit to Go Forward

Per Jurist.com:

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a suit to proceed against drug maker Merck & Co. over the safety record of its painkiller Vioxx. The court ruled unanimously in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds that the statute of limitations in a securities fraud lawsuit begins to run once the plaintiff actually discovered or a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have discovered the violation - whichever comes first. Investors brought the class action suit against Merck in 2003, alleging that it had deliberately concealed information about Vioxx. The case was dismissed by a federal judge 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 US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated the case in September 2008, finding that the district judge had "acted prematurely in finding as a matter of law that [the investors] were on inquiry notice of the alleged fraud." [The Supreme Court affirmed]

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