A Manhattan federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta Inc., doesn’t shield a Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. executive from securities fraud claims. The executive made no public statements, but his behavior was central to the company’s alleged misconduct. Bristol-Myers shareholders are suing the company and two of its top executives for allegedly misleading them about patent litigation against Apotex, a manufacturer of a generic version of Bristol-Myers’ best-selling Plavix blood-thinning drug. According to shareholders, the company bargained away much of its right to seek damages for patent infringement to strike a licensing deal with Apotex that was subsequently rejected by regulators.
The company allegedly concealed the extent to which it had hamstrung its litigation options and publicly stated it would “vigorously pursue” patent litigation against Apotex. Andrew Bodnar, Bristol-Myers’ former senior vice president for strategy, carried out the settlement negotiations with Apotex, but made no public statements about them. The Stoneridge decision limited liability for securities fraud by actors who were “too remote” from investors. But the district judge rejected that argument stating:
Bodnar made no public statements himself, but investors relied on his good faith in negotiating the Apotex settlement agreement and committing the company to its terms.
The judge also denied motions to dismiss by Bristol-Myers and former chief executive Peter Dolan. Bodnar was indicted in April for concealing the negotiations with Apotex from the Federal Trade Commission.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.