Vaccine Shareholders

Los Angeles, CA: (Dec-05-07) A class action lawsuit was brought against vaccine maker Chiron, alleging that the company, now a unit of Novartis AG, failed to disclose problems at its UK vaccine plant. The suit stated that the problems induced a reduction in the production of the Fluvirin influenza virus during a 2004 US flu vaccine shortage. As a result, the production problems hurt the company's financial results, harming shareholders, according to the lawsuit.

As part of a settlement reached, the company proposed to pay $30 million in cash plus interest, an amount that includes $7.5 million in legal fees. In a recent development in the case, a San Francisco federal judge has rejected the proposed class action settlement negotiated by law firm Milberg Weiss, citing outsized legal fees and questions about whether a firm accused of criminal wrongdoing should represent shareholders. Sources stated that federal prosecutors have charged Milberg Weiss's top officials for criminal kickbacks. [REUTERS: CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT REJECTED]

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