Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Case 03/22/2002

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Company Name(s): 
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Case Name: 
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Case 03/22/2002
Case Status: 
Lawsuit Filed
Case Status: 
Judgment Issued
Case Status: 
Settlement Proposed
Case Status: 
Settlement Approved
Affected Securities
NYSE: BMY
Lawsuit Overview
Type of Lawsuit: 
Shareholder Class Action
Date Filed: 
03/22/2002
Class Period Begin: 
10/19/1999
Class Period End: 
03/10/2003
Court of Filing: 
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Date Settled: 
09/03/2004
Settlement Amount: 
$574,000,000
Deadline to Participate in Settlement: 
01/31/2005
Summary: 

According to a press release dated June 8, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that $750 million will be distributed to compensate shareholders injured by fraudulent earnings management at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS). The distribution fund includes $150 million BMS paid to settle fraud charges brought by the Commission. The fund also includes $300 million BMS paid to settle a related civil class action, and $300 million paid by BMS in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey to address the company's criminal liability. Recent orders entered by federal courts in New Jersey and New York allowed for the coordinated distribution. On Aug. 4, 2004, without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, BMS consented to be permanently enjoined from violating certain provisions of the federal securities laws. The company also agreed to remedial measures and to pay $150 million to compensate investors. By distributing the money under a single distribution plan, administrative costs are substantially reduced.

In a press release dated June 5, 2005, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is expected to settle a federal probe of its past accounting practices for $300 million, according to published reports. As part of the so-called "deferred prosecution" agreement, the New York-based company would be able to avoid criminal charges if it complies with certain terms of the settlement, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both reported Sunday night on their Web sites, citing unnamed sources familiar with the settlement talks. An announcement of the agreement could come this week, the reports said. Among the terms of the deal with the Justice Department are expected to be the separation of the chairman and chief executive titles currently held by Peter R. Dolan, and other changes in the company's corporate governance practices, according to the Journal. No current Bristol-Myers Squibb executives are expected to be indicted, thought it's possible former executives may be indicted, according to the Journal.

In a press release dated July 30, 2004, the Lead Plaintiffs in this case announced that the court has granted preliminary approval of a settlement reached in the securities class action litigation. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has agreed to pay $300 million to the Class Members. The settlement resolves all of the Class Members' claims against the company and the individual defendants. Bristol-Myers said in a statement that the company had agreed to a separate settlement of $150 million with the Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying any liability, and company executives would not comment on any other investigations into its accounting practices or the future steps it might take.

On April 2, 2004, the Court entered the Order granting the motion to dismiss the action. The plaintiffs soon after filed a Notice of Appeal. On July 30, 2004, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a Mandate remanding the action to the District Court for purposes of settlement, and on August 4, 2004, a Stipulation and Order of Settlement was filed.

In 2000, class action was filed Bristol Myers Squibb Company in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. According to the docket for this 2002 case, on October 7, 2002, the Court issued a Stipulation and Order granting the motion to transfer claims and the complaints containing only Vanlev claims to the USDC for the District of New Jersey. All non-Vanlev cases and all non-Vanlev claims, including all such claims alleged in the complaint in the actions pending in the USDC for Southern District of New York were ordered to remain in the Southern District of New York.

The Class Members were allegedly damaged by the artificial inflation of Bristol Myers's stock price due to the defendants' materially false and misleading statements and omissions regarding the company's financial condition and the prospect for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of the drug Erbitux, in which Bristol-Myers invested $2 billion for the drug's development.

More specifically, the original complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws by making itself, and allowing its drug development partner to make, without correction, materially false and misleading statements about the progress of its Erbitux cancer treatment drug's application for FDA approval even as BRISTOL-MYERS knew that the application and data were false. Specifically, the complaint alleges that on December 28, 2001, a press release disclosed that the FDA had rejected the filing of a Biologics License Application for Erbitux. On January 4, 2002, The Cancer Letter reported that the FDA repeatedly informed defendants about problems with the Erbitux clinical trials during the Class Period. These shocking revelations caused the stock to plummet from a Class Period high of $56 to $40 by March of 2002.