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Court rules Vioxx suit timely; reverses arbitration ruling

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a claim by investors that Merck & Co. misrepresented the risks of heart attacks posed by the drug Vioxx did not violate the two-year statute of limitations because it was filed within two years of the plaintiffs’ discovery of the violation, and Merck did not show that a reasonably diligent plaintiff would have discovered it sooner.

That unanimous ruling in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds was one of two decisions handed down by the Court today.

In Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., the Court reversed a 2nd Circuit ruling allowing class arbitration, despite silence on the issue in the arbitration agreement, in an antitrust action. The Court held 5-3 (Justice Sonia Sotomayor recused) that imposing class arbitration on parties who have not agreed to it is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act.

More on these cases to come on this blog and on Lawyers USA Online.

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