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Shareholder Class Action Filed Against Aetna Inc. by the Law Firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP

RADNOR, Pa., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by the law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all securities purchasers of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) ("Aetna" or the "Company") from October 27, 2005 through April 27, 2006, inclusive (the "Class Period").

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP (Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or via e-mail at

The Complaint charges Aetna and certain of its officers and directors with violations of sections 10(b), 18, and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the second half of 2005, Aetna touted its expanding membership rolls as a primary reason for a growth in operating income.

The Company's Medical Cost Ratio ("MCR") is the percentage of dollars a company spends on health care, including physician reimbursement, and is the key number for health plans in terms of their level of profitability. For six months, defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose the rise in Aetna's MCR. Unbeknownst to investors, however, from at least as early as September 2005, defendants had in their possession information that contradicted or rendered statements made by the defendants throughout the Class Period false.

On April 27, 2006, the Company shocked the market when it disclosed a rise in its MCR relative to the prior year. This higher MCR, coupled with large membership growth, meant that the Company was under-pricing its health plans in order to speed up enrollment. This fact, which the defendants knew by September 2005, was conspicuously absent from defendants' public disclosures between October 27, 2005 and April 27, 2006. From April 26, 2006 to April 27, 2006, Aetna's shares fell from $46.43 per share to $37.00 per share, a decline of $9.43 per share, or over 20 percent, representing a loss in market capitalization of $5.4 billion.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members and is represented by the law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler which prosecutes class actions in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors from the United States and around the world.

For more information about Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler or to sign up to participate in this action online, please visit

If you are a member of the class described above, you may, not later than December 24, 2007, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

CONTACT: Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP

Darren J. Check, Esq.

Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.

280 King of Prussia Road

Radnor, PA 19087

1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706

Or by e-mail at

SOURCE Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
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