High Court's Amgen Ruling Could Stymie Securities Classes

By Ian Thoms (June 12, 2012, 7:27 PM EDT) -- In agreeing Monday to hear Amgen Inc.'s appeal of a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the Supreme Court moved to resolve a glaring split between the circuits and establish when materiality needs to be proved in a securities fraud action, a decision that could make it substantially harder for plaintiffs to win class certification, experts say.

Last November, the Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in holding that plaintiffs in a securities fraud action need only plausibly allege — not prove — materiality in order to certify a class. The holding clashed with earlier rulings by the Second, Third and Fifth circuits,...

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