The complaint, first filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, charges Merck and its Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer with violations of the Federal Securities Laws. The Complaint alleges that defendants deceived the investing public regarding the results of the ENHANCE trial because the results were not positive or beneficial to Merck and to the contrary would be detrimental. The trial results when fully explained and disclosed on March 28, 2008 showed that there was no statistically significant difference between patient use of VYTORIN versus patients treated with SIMVASTATIN. Based on trial results, defendants were aware that the medical community would turn to an alternative, less expensive statins, thus seriously impacting the Company's earning. Moreover, the Company's earnings were dependent on increasing sales of VYTORIN as its patent and exclusivity on ZOCOR had expired and the company's performance would and could be negatively impacted by competition from cholesterol management products on the market. These disclosures caused Merck's stock price to fall from $44.51 on March 28, 2008 to close on March 31, 2008 at $37.95.
According to the press release dated May 8, 2008, the class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 08cv1603, has been withdrawn without prejudice since defendants had not appeared, answered or moved for summary judgment. The action will be refiled in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 08-02177.
On July 3, 2008, Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh granted the motion to appoint the The Institutional Investor Group as co-lead plaintiffs and approved the law firms of Grant & Eisenhofer and Bernstein, Litowitz Berger & Grossmann as co-lead counsel. On October 6, 2008, the lead plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint. On December 21, 2008, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On September 3, 2009, Judge Cavanaugh denied the defendants’ motion.
On February 9, 2012, a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint for Violation of the Federal Securities Laws was filed by the lead plaintiffs against the defendants.
On September 25, 2012, the Court issued an Order granting the Plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Also on this date, the Court issued an Order denying the Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
On November 21, 2012, a Stipulation of Dismissal, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2), dismissed an individual Defendant and Count III of the Second Amended Consolidated Complaint alleging violations of Section 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 without Prejudice.
On June 7, 2013, the Court preliminarily approved the Settlement.
On September 25, 2013, a Report and Recommendation was filed related to litigation expenses.
On October 1, 2013, this Court granted both Motions for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Plan of Allocation and adopted the Report in its entirety.
On October 1, 2013, it was ORDERED that both Motions for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Plan of Allocation are granted, and The Report is adopted in its entirely.
On October 1, 2013, the Court approved the Plan of Allocation proposed by the Lead Plaintiffs. There was no just reason for delay in the entry of this Order, and immediate entry by the Clerk of the Court was expressly directed.
On October 1, 2013, the court awarded the lead plaintiff and lead counsel ATTORNEYS' FEES AND EXPENSES.
On October 1, 2013, there was a JUDGMENT APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.
On October 25, 2013, Class member appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from this Court's October 1, 2013 Order granting Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Expenses.
On October 30, 2013, Class members appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from this Court’s Order Approving Plan of Allocation of Net Settlement Fund, Order Awarding Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement.
On November 20, 2013, the Lead Plaintiffs moved before the Hon. Dennis M. Cavanaugh, U.S.D.J. for entry of an Order pursuant imposing a bond for costs on appeal.