Amgen Inc. v. Harris

Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit’s Judgment in ERISA Class Action

Term: 2015 Term
Oral Argument Date:
Vote: 9-0
Opinion: Per Curiam
Questions Presented: 

1. Whether the Ninth Circuit decision conflicts with Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), as four members of the court of appeals concluded in dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc.

2. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in extending (sua sponte, and without the benefit of briefing) the presumption of indirect class-wide reliance that this Court approved for securities claims in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), to respondents’ claims under ERISA.

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

In its brief, the U.S. Chamber supported a petition for writ of certiorari pertaining to employee stock ownership plans.

The brief argues that the Ninth Circuit failed to apply Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. The brief thus urges the Supreme Court to summarily reverse the Ninth Circuit’s judgment or to grant certiorari to reject the Ninth Circuit’s importation of the “fraud-on-the-market” presumption of reliance from securities litigation into ERISA litigation. 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed this brief jointly with the Chamber.

George T. Conway III of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as counsel for the amici in this case.

Outcome Content: 

The petition for certiorari was granted. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Procedural History: 

Cert. petition filed 9/3/2015. U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 11/13/2015. Order for summary reversal filed 1/25/2016.