Latest News on Vioxx Lawsuit Regarding Shareholders’ Law Suit

It is now going on almost five years since the drug Vioxx was pulled from store shelves by its manufacturer, Merck, but it appears the legal system will be seeing the class action against Merck for sometime to come.

On May 26, 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Merck’s appeal in a shareholder lawsuit that alleges Merck misled shareholders by “down playing” scientific data that showed Vioxx raised risks of heart attacks. This is known as a derivative law suit by stock or share holders. The question presented goes to whether or not the statue of limitations expired before the lawsuit was filed; a federal judge ruled the statute had expired, then an appeals court overturned that ruling, now Merck appled that holding to the Supreme Court.

Thus, did the “securities lawsuit shot clock” expire? Here are some ground rules: Once investors, here stock holders, become aware that a misrepresentation or fraud has occurred, they have two years to file a lawsuit to protect their legal rights. The grey area becomes how much information must be made available or public before it is reasonable to investors that a fraud has occurred, if at all? When does this clock start ticking? Merck is saying there was enough information on the market back in 2001 to make such a determination, and thus points to this being the start of the ticking clock.

Keep in mind, this blog article is apart and separate from the actual Class Action Vioxx Lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of injured consumers of Vioxx. Stay tuned for the resolution of this result in future coming blog article.
Mark Blane
Founder of The Law Offices of Mark Blane, APC
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