A MATRIXX Revolution, Part II: Supreme Court affirms Ninth Circuit's holding that life science companies cannot rely on a statistical significance standard when deciding whether adverse event .....


On March 22, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's ruling in Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano, 09-1156. See our prior blog article from November 18, 2010.

Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. (“Matrixx”) is a manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Its core brand of products is Zicam, a popular cold remedy. NECA-IBEW Pension Fund and named plaintiff James Siracusano brought a securities fraud class action lawsuit against Matrixx in 2005, alleging that Matrixx and three of its executives made certain misleading public statements about the company's projected growth in light of information it had that Zicam's nasal spray had been linked to several cases of anosmia, or loss of the sense of smell. To prevail on a §10(b) claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant made a statement that was “misleading as to a material fact.” See 17 C.F.R. 240.10b. The Plaintiffs argued that these adverse events were material and that the company's failure to report them in its SEC filings violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“the Act”).

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