I apparently made a mistake in the March 2010 Report relating to litigation involving Merck & Co. I wrote that Merck had “settled the shareholder lawsuits that were filed against the company over Vioxx.” That was somewhat misleading and will be corrected. Although the parties to the derivative action have actually agreed to settle the case, it will not resolve, nor will it release the claims being litigated in the consolidated shareholder securities fraud class action against Merck and its senior officers and directors. On November 30, 2009, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case (Merck & Co., Inc., et al. v. Reynolds, et al., No. 08-905) over the issue as to when the statute of limitations begins to run for securities fraud claims. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision during this term, which ends in June.
In the securities fraud class action, Plaintiff shareholders, including the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (Co-Lead Plaintiff), allege that the Defendants issued public statements that misrepresented their true beliefs concerning the cardiovascular safety profile of Vioxx, and that the trading price of Merck securities dropped sharply when the truth was disclosed to investors. We are glad to make this correction as requested. We want all of the information in the Report to be completely accurate and regret this mistake. I appreciate the Mississippi Attorney General’s office bringing this matter to our attention and requesting the correction.
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