Supreme Court Will Decide If Statistical Significance Forms Part of the Legal Standard for Proving Securities Fraud Against Life Science Companies

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Statistical significance is generally cited as the gold standard by which pharmaceutical companies decide whether information is scientifically meaningful. Should it also be part of the legal standard for proving securities fraud under the federal securities laws? The United States Supreme Court will resolve that question in its next term, which starts in October 2010.

On Monday, June 14, 2010, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano, No. 09-1156, to decide: “Whether a plaintiff can state a claim under § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 based on a pharmaceutical company’s nondisclosure of adverse event reports even though the reports are not alleged to be statistically significant.”

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