WLF Legal Backgrounder on Matrixx Initiatives

In Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano, ___ U.S. ___, ___ , 2011 WL 977060 (Mar. 22, 2011), the Supreme Court addressed a securities fraud case against an over-the-counter pharmaceutical company for speaking to the market about its rosy financial projections, but failing to provide information received about the hazards of the product.

Much or most of the holding of the case is an unexceptional application of settled principles of securities fraud litigation in the context of claims against a pharmaceutical company with products liability cases pending.  The defendant company, however, attempted to import Rule 702 principles of scientific evidence into a motion to dismiss on the pleadings, with much confusion resulting among the litigants, the amici, and the Court.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to affirm the reinstatement of the complaint against the defendant.

I have written about this case previously: “The Matrixx – A Comedy of Errors,” and “Matrixx Unloaded,” and “The Matrixx Oversold,” and “De-Zincing the Matrixx.”

Now, with the collaboration of David Venderbush from Alston & Bird LLP, we have collected our thoughts to share in the form of a Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder, which is available for download at the WLF’s website.  Schachtman & Venderbush, “Matrixx Unbounded: High Court’s Ruling Needlessly Complicates Scientific Evidence Principles,” 26 (14) Legal Backgrounder (June 17, 2011).

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