NEW YORK, April 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

IN RE MERCK & CO., INC. SECURITIES, DERIVATIVE & “ERISA” LITIGATION 

MDL No. 1658 (SRC)
Civil Action No. 05-1151 (SRC) (MAS)
Civil Action No. 05-2367 (SRC) (MAS)
 

THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO:
THE SECURITIES CLASS ACTION

 

 

Summary Notice of (I) Proposed Settlement and Plan of Allocation;
(II) Settlement Fairness Hearing; and (III) Motion for an Award of
Attorneys’ Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses

TO:     All persons and entities who, from May 21, 1999, through October 29, 2004, inclusive (the “Settlement Class Period”), purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of Merck & Co., Inc. (“Merck Common Stock”) or call options on Merck Common Stock, or sold put options on Merck Common Stock (the “Settlement Class”). 

Please read this notice carefully; your rights will be affected by THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF a class action lawsuit pending in this court.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that the Lead Plaintiffs in the above-captioned class action (the “Action”), on behalf of themselves and the Court-certified Settlement Class, have reached a proposed Settlement of the Action with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., on behalf of its affiliates and subsidiaries, including defendant Merck & Co., Inc.[1], and Edward M. Scolnick and Alise S. Reicin (collectively, the “Individual Defendants,” and together with Merck, “Defendants”).  The Settlement provides for a payment of $830 million (the “Settlement Class Fund”) for the benefit of the Settlement Class, and another $232 million (the “Fee/Expense Fund”) from which Court-awarded Lead Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and Litigation Expenses and the fees of the Special Master appointed by the Court regarding the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses shall be paid.  To the extent the Court awards attorneys’ fees and Litigation Expenses in an amount less than $232 million, any amount remaining in the Fee/Expense Fund, after the payment of the Special Master’s Fees and any Taxes owed by the Fee/Expense Fund, will be credited to the Settlement Class Fund and will not revert back to any of the Defendants or their insurers.  In return, the Court will dismiss with prejudice the claims asserted in this Action on behalf of Settlement Class Members against Defendants and grant the Releases specified and described in the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement dated February 8, 2016 (the “Stipulation”). 

A hearing will be held on June 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., before the Honorable Stanley R. Chesler, U.S.D.J., in Courtroom No. 2 of the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office Building, 2 Federal Square, Newark, New Jersey, 07102, to determine:  (1) whether the proposed Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) whether the Action should be dismissed with prejudice against Defendants, and the Releases specified and described in the Stipulation should be granted; (3) whether the proposed Plan of Allocation for the proceeds of the Settlement should be approved as fair and reasonable; and (4) whether Co-Lead Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of Litigation Expenses should be granted.

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASS DESCRIBED ABOVE, YOUR RIGHTS WILL BE AFFECTED AND YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO SHARE IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASS FUND.  If you have not yet received the full printed Notice of (I) Proposed Settlement and Plan of Allocation; (II) Settlement Fairness Hearing; and (III) Motion for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses (the “Settlement Notice”), you may obtain copies by contacting the Claims Administrator at:

In re Merck & Co., Inc. Vioxx Securities Litigation
c/o  Epiq Systems
P.O. Box 6659
Portland, OR 97228-6659
Tel.: (866) 752-0067

Copies of the Settlement Notice, which more completely describes the Settlement and your rights thereunder, and the Proof of Claim Form (“Claim Form”) are also available at www.merckvioxxsecuritieslitigation.com

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, in order to be eligible to share in the distribution of the proceeds of the Settlement you must submit a Claim Form postmarked no later than September 12, 2016.

The Court previously certified a class consisting of all persons and entities who, from May 21, 1999 to September 29, 2004, inclusive (the “Certified Class Period”), purchased or otherwise acquired Merck Common Stock or Merck Call Options, or sold Merck Put Options (the “Certified Class”).  The Certified Class Period was shorter than, and is encompassed by, the Settlement Class Period.  The Notice of Pendency of Class Action mailed in September 2013 provided members of the Certified Class with an opportunity to request exclusion from the class.  If you previously submitted a request for exclusion and you wish to remain excluded, no further action is required and you will be excluded from the Settlement Class.  Persons who previously submitted a request for exclusion may, however, opt back into the Settlement Class for the purpose of being eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement.  In order to opt back into the Settlement Class, you must submit a request to do so in writing such that it is received no later than June 23, 2016, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Settlement Notice.  Any Person who previously submitted a request for exclusion and timely opts back into the Settlement Class shall be afforded all the rights and obligations of a Settlement Class Member.  If you previously submitted a request for exclusion from the Certified Class and do not opt back into the Settlement Class in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Settlement Notice, you will not be bound by any judgments or orders entered by the Court in the Action and you will not be eligible to share in the Settlement.

Members of the Certified Class, who were previously given an opportunity to request exclusion, do not have a second opportunity to request exclusion at this time.  However, if your only purchases of Merck Common Stock or Merck Call Options or sales of Merck Put Options during the Settlement Class Period occurred from September 30, 2004 through October 29, 2004, inclusive, you may request exclusion from the Settlement Class.  If you fit these criteria and wish to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must submit a request for exclusion such that it is received no later than May 14, 2016, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Settlement Notice.  If you properly exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will not be bound by any judgments or orders entered by the Court in the Action and you will not be eligible to share in the Settlement. 

Any objections to the proposed Settlement, the proposed Plan of Allocation, or the application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses must be filed with the Court and delivered to Co-Lead Counsel and representative Defendants’ Counsel such that they are received no later than May 14, 2016, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Settlement Notice. 

Inquiries, other than requests for copies of the Settlement Notice and Claim Form, which may be obtained at www.merckvioxxsecuritieslitigation.com, should be directed to the Claims Administrator at (866) 752-0067, or Co-Lead Counsel:

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Salvatore J. Graziano, Esq.
1251 Avenue of the Americas, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Tel:  800-380-8496

Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation
David A.P. Brower, Esq.
475 Park Avenue South, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-501-9000

Milberg LLP
Robert A. Wallner, Esq.
One Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10119
Tel: 212-594-5300

Stull, Stull & Brody
Mark Levine, Esq.
6 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 800-337-4983

BY ORDER OF THE COURT

[1] As used herein, “Merck” means Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and Merck & Co., Inc., the named defendant in this action, together with any of their subsidiaries and affiliates.

CONTACT:  Salvatore J. Graziano, 800-380-8496; David A.P. Brower, 212-501-9000; Robert A. Wallner, 212-594-5300; and Mark Levine, 800-337-4983