Back on January 18, 2012, I mentioned that yesterday would be “mediation day” — on the ERISA federal class action related to the ENHANCE disclosure delays.
As a Valentine’s Day present, we just learned that Merck’s trial counsel has filed a letter with the court this afternoon, indicating that — subject to the approval of Merck’s board of directors — an agreement has been reached to settle the ERISA matters. In short, the mediation day. . . worked. As I suggested back then:
. . . .I do think it a sign of emerging wisdom on Mr. Frazier’s part — that he no longer seeks to litigate these claims (recall his directly contrary stance, as General Counsel, on the Vioxx® claims). First, in my estimation, there is arguable merit to each of them — and second, even if one believes there is not — it is high time to put the ENHANCE matter in Whitehouse Station’s rear-view mirror, and permanently so. Little might be gained, even in a complete victory, here — and each time a court date is scheduled, a rehash of the facts will likely run in the popular press. Just no longer worth it. . . .
When the specific terms of the settlement are made public, we will let you know — for now, here is the letter from Merck’s counsel (a one page PDF file).