PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A group of class-action plaintiffs waited too long to sue Merck & Co. for securities fraud, the 3rd Circuit ruled.
The stockholders claim the drug manufacturer misrepresented the commercial viability of its Vioxx pain reliever, which was taken off the shelves in 2004 due to safety concerns.
Judge Sloviter ruled that the district court properly dismissed the case as untimely because the plaintiffs had the duty to investigate the fraud more than two years before they filed suit.
According to the judge, there was enough evidence in the public record that the plaintiffs could have filed their suit earlier.
“If public information undermined Merck’s representations about Vioxx’s safety, a reasonable investor would also likely see such information as undermining Merck’s representations about Vioxx’s commercial liability,” Sloviter wrote.