OMNICARE, INC. v. LABORERS DISTRICT COUNCIL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY PENSION FUND
Plaintiffs were investors who bought Omnicare securities in a December 15, 2005 public offering. At the same time, Omnicare offered 12.8 million shares of common stock and made related filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings were incorporated into a Registration Statement. The plaintiffs sold all the securities by January 31, 2006. Plaintiffs brought suit under §11 of the Securities Act of 1993 claiming Omnicare materially misled or omitted material information on the registration statement because they were engaged in illegal activities that included kickback arrangements with pharmaceutical manufacturers and submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Plaintiffs further allege that Omnicare failed to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which resulted in a substantial overstatement of the company’s revenue affecting the 2005 public offering.
The original suit filed in the district court had multiple claims from which this case arose, but all were dismissed in favor of Omnicare. The claims were dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to plead that the defendants had knowledge of wrongdoing when they materially falsified information on the registration statement. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissals except one filed under §11 for materially misleading or omitting material information because that claim was filed under a strict liability statute which did not require pleading to knowledge of wrongdoing. The Court held that plaintiffs had met their burden for making a prima facie case under §11 and remanded the case to district court.
To survive a motion to dismiss, does a claim filed under §11 of the Securities Act of 1933 merely have to plead that the information presented as true was objectively false, or does it require pleading scienter of wrongdoing on part of the defendant?