First Circuit Decisions

First Circuit Affirms Tough Standard for Alleging Securities Fraud; Revives One Claim Against Local Drug Maker

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On November 28, 2016, the First Circuit upheld the dismissal of all but one of the class action securities fraud claims against Cambridge, MA drug company, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., reaffirming the exacting pleading standards that enable defendants to put an early end to reflexive stock-drop lawsuits.  In doing so, the First Circuit also adopted strict requirements for asserting claims that defendants misled investors in a common stock offering.

In In re ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Securities Litigation, shareholder plaintiffs appealed the District of Massachusetts’ dismissal of the federal securities fraud claims against ARIAD based on optimistic statements the company’s executives made about the prospects of ARIAD’s experimental leukemia drug, ponatinib, which ultimately did not fare so well in FDA trials.  The First Circuit largely affirmed the district court’s dismissal, holding that the complaint failed to raise a compelling inference that the company’s executives acted with scienter—or intent to defraud.  The appellate court did, however, revive a claim related to “one particular alleged

First Circuit Denies Review in Building Products Case

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On October 2, 2015, we posted about the District of Massachusetts’ denial of class certification in a case in which we represent a building products company that sold allegedly defective decking.  We’re pleased to report that yesterday the First Circuit denied Plaintiffs’ petition for review of the class certification denial under Rule 23(f). 

First Circuit Weighs In On Rule 68 Mootness Issue

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In a decision issued on August 21, 2015, the First Circuit added its voice to the recent chorus of federal appellate courts holding that an unaccepted Rule 68 offer of judgment, served before a motion for class certification and offering the named plaintiff all the relief it could potentially recover on its individual claim, did not render the plaintiff’s claim moot, and therefore did not moot the putative class action.

In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation – A Mixed Prescription

As my colleague Don Frederico noted in his January 24th post, a divided First Circuit panel recently affirmed the district court’s class certification decision in In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation.  In so doing, the First Circuit weighed in on a critical issue that arises in many class cases:  is class certification proper where certain members of the class have not suffered injury?

The effect of the Nexium decision on product defect class actions

The First Circuit’s split decision last week affirming class certification in the Nexium antitrust case is sure to receive much attention in product defect class actions.  Over the last several years, a chief battleground in such actions has been the import of the fact that many of the people that bought the particular product – indeed, often an overwhelming majority of those people – had no problem at all with it after many years of use…