SUPREMES TO HEAR VIOXX
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal by Merck & Co. Inc. of a ruling that reinstated a securities fraud lawsuit involving the company's disclosures to investors about its withdrawn Vioxx pain drug.
A U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia reinstated the lawsuit, which seeks billions of dollars in damages, after a federal judge in New Jersey had dismissed it on the grounds that the claims were time-barred due to the statute of limitations.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case during its upcoming term that begins in October.
The securities fraud lawsuit is unrelated to the $4.85 billion settlement between Merck and plaintiffs who filed personal injury lawsuits against the company over Vioxx.
Merck withdrew Vioxx in 2004 after a clinical trial showed that its use increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
NEAR-NORMAL CANE SEASON
This year's Atlantic hurricane season should feature near-normal activity, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There is a 70 percent chance that nine to 14 named storms will form during the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.
Four to seven of the named storms could grow to hurricane strength, with one to three of those becoming major hurricanes packing sustained winds of at least 111 mph, Locke said.
According to NOAA, an average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes, with two of those becoming major hurricanes.
INSURANCE OFFICE OPENING?
Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., has reintroduced a bill that would create a federal office of insurance information within the Treasury Department.
The new Treasury office called for in the bill, H.R. 2609, would collect and analyze data on insurance, advise the Treasury secretary on domestic and international policy matters and report to Congress every two years, Rep. Kanjorski's office said in a statement.
The bill also would establish an advisory group to help inform and advise the head of the office.
Representatives of this group would include state regulators, consumer groups and others in the insurance industry.
Many industry insiders consider some form of increased federal participation and regulation a given in the current political clime.
MARSH APPOINTS CRO
Marsh Inc. appointed Matt Kimber as chief risk officer for the U.K.
Kimber, who is based in London, joins Marsh from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was head of integration risk during the bank's January acquisition of with HBOS PLC, Marsh said in a statement. He replaces James Elder, who has left the company.
Previously, Kimber led the global operational risk effort for the bank, then-named Lloyds TSB Group PLC.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
July 1, 2009
Copyright 2009© LRP Publications