Top Plaintiffs Firms Say Amgen No License To Print Money

February 28, 2013

Christopher J. McDonald comments on how the Supreme Court Amgen ruling affects securities fraud class action litigation

"Members of the defense bar have repeated the canard in Amgen's briefing that an affirmance would portend a greater pressure to settle cases. First, [Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg forcefully rejected that argument. Second, Amgen itself doesn't believe it; the ink on the decision wasn't even dry when the company issued a statement that the decision was 'solely procedural' and that it 'will vigorously defend itself' once the case is remanded. Is it a good decision for investors? Absolutely. Is it the license to print money that the defense bar is making it out to be? No.

"At its core, all Amgen does is faithfully apply the rules that are already required of all class action litigants. Whether an allegedly false statement is or is not material does not raise the specter of 'individual issues' because it is a question common to all class members. So in the Second Circuit ... and the Third Circuit ... it removes the need to resolve issues not required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that were engrafted onto the certification process. In the Ninth Circuit and Seventh Circuit ... it doesn't change things at all."