June 15, 2010

Supreme Court To Address Materiality

The U.S. Supreme Court is going to address the issue of materiality in securities fraud cases, albeit in the limited context of actions based on a drug company's nondisclosure of "adverse event" reports.

Yesterday, the Court granted cert in the Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano (9th Circuit) case. In Matrixx, the Ninth Circuit found that a drug company can be liable for failing to disclose adverse event reports (i.e., reports by users of a drug that they experienced an adverse event after using the drug) even if those reports were not statistically significant. The First, Second, and Third Circuits, however, have held that statistical significance is required to make the nondisclosure of the reports material. The Court will resolve the circuit split.

SCOTUSBlog has links to the cert petition papers. Although the question presented is narrow, the case may have wider ramifications if the Court offers guidance on its general materiality standard. Matrixx will be heard in the October term.

Posted by Lyle Roberts at June 15, 2010 1:34 PM | TrackBack
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