Institutional Investors Recover $688 Million From Merck and Schering-Plough in
Securities Fraud Litigation
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/14/13 -- The Court-appointed Lead
Plaintiffs in the coordinated securities class actions pending
against Merck & Co. Inc. ("Merck"), Schering-Plough Corporation
("Schering"), Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals, certain of the
Companies' directors and officers, and the underwriters of a 2007
Schering stock offering today announced that they have reached
settlements on behalf of investors totaling $688 million subject to
Court approval. The actions relate to a clinical trial called
"ENHANCE" involving the anti-cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin.
The actions, currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey before Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh, are In re
Schering-Plough Corporation/ENHANCE Securities Litigation, Master
File No. 08-397, which settled for $473 million; and In re Merck &
Co., Inc. Vytorin/Zetia Securities Litigation, Master File No.
08-2177, which settled for $215 million. The combined $688 million in
settlements is the second largest securities class action settlement
in the Third Circuit, among the top 25 securities class action
settlements of all time, and among the ten largest recoveries in a
securities class action not involving a restatement.
The settlements were reached after almost five years of protracted
litigation led by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP ("BLB&G")
and co-counsel, and only after the District Court granted Plaintiffs'
motions for class certification and denied Defendants' motions for
summary judgment and the Third Circuit denied Defendants' Rule 23(f)
appeals of the District Court's decisions granting class
certification. Trial was scheduled to begin on March 4, 2013.
BLB&G is Court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel representing Arkansas
Teacher Retirement System, Public Employees' Retirement System of
Mississippi, and Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement
System on behalf of the Class in the Schering-Plough action, and
Co-Lead Counsel representing Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension
Fund and General Retirement System of the City of Detroit on behalf
of the Class in the Merck case.
The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board served
as Co-Lead Plaintiff in the Schering action represented by Labaton
Sucharow LLP. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and International Fund
Management, S.A. Luxemburg served as Co-Lead Plaintiff in the Merck
action represented by the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Pilgrim
Mediation Group served as mediators in the actions.
These two actions stem from claims that Merck and Schering (which
merged in November 2009) artificially inflated their securities by
concealing material information and making false and misleading
statements regarding the blockbuster anti-cholesterol drugs Zetia and
Vytorin. Namely, Lead Plaintiffs alleged that even though the
Defendants knew that a clinical trial of Vytorin, called "ENHANCE,"
demonstrated that Vytorin (a combination of Zetia and a generic
statin medication) was no more effective than the cheaper, generic
statin drug at reducing artery thickness, the Companies nonetheless
championed the "benefits" of the drugs, attracting billions of
dollars of capital in the process. Yielding to public pressure to
release the results of the ENHANCE trial, Lead Plaintiffs allege that
the companies reluctantly announced that the cholesterol drugs showed
"no statistically significant difference" in plaque buildup, and that
news of these negative results and their related consequences caused
sharp declines in the value of the companies' securities, resulting
in significant losses to investors.
For more information on these actions, please visit www.blbglaw.com.
Marketing and Communications Director
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
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