. . .that it was only a matter of time, before these newer ERISA inherent-conflict-of-interest/breach of fiduciary duties allegations would find their way into a new, or amended, ERISA putative class action complaint against Schering-Plough, and its directors and some of its officers, personally.
It looks like that happened on May 19, 2008 [but it did not appear on the electronic docket of the US District Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, as a filed case, until last night — because counsel filed solely in paper format on the 19th, and was duly admonished about the federal Rules on Electronic Filings on the 22nd. Heh. The original Schering ERISA case on the ENHANCE-related factual allegations, Gradone, is imaged, at right. Click it to enlarge.]
And so, as of last night, Oettinger, et al. v. Schering-Plough Corp., et al., Case No. 08-2436 (a putative Class Action Complaint, filed May 19, 2008) has fufilled that prophecy — a case alleging those new theories (related to the inherent, unresolvable conflicts of interest endemic in situations such as those Merck, and Schering created, vis-a-vis the ERISA plans of each).
The Oettinger case also alleges personal liability violations of ERISA against CEO Fred Hassan, the entire Schering-Plough Board of Directors, and “John/Jane Does 1 through 10” — the non-director, but Schering-employed Plan Fiduciaries, inside the company, serving in “dual roles” — one role, for the ERISA plan(s), and the other role, for the company itself. Bob Bertolini is mentioned here.
This is how — from a small spark, back in early March 2008 — a bon-fire seems to begin.