Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Supreme Court will decide whether shareholders can sue pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. because of the failure of its former blockbuster painkiller Vioxx.
The high court agreed Tuesday to review Merck's challenge to a federal appeals court's reinstatement of a class-action securities lawsuit.
Investors had charged Merck with providing misleading information or omitting information about the risks of Vioxx. A U.S. District judge dismissed the November 2003 lawsuit, ruling that all the plaintiffs' claims were time-barred under the statute of limitation.
But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided to allow the lawsuits and Merck appealed to the Supreme Court.
Vioxx was pulled from the market Sept. 30, 2004, because it doubled risks of heart attack, stroke and death. That day alone, stockholders lost a collective $28 billion.