Several class-action shareholder lawsuits filed in Southland courts against ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. will be tried in New York to consolidate court action against the embattled Costa Mesa company.
The suits allege that ICN and its Viratek Inc. subsidiary wrongly "hyped" the value of the experimental antiviral drug "Virazole" and accuse ICN, Viratek and a second subsidiary, SPI Pharmaceutical Inc., as well as PaineWebber Inc. and eight ICN officers and directors of securities fraud.
U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. on Monday granted the change of venue at the request of the defendants. According to an attorney for ICN, the motion sought the change of venue because "essentially the same litigation is pending and is further advanced" in the U.S. District Court in New York.
Attorneys for the shareholders could not be reached for comment.