Medica Mutual of Ohio v. Abbvie Inc.


Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP secured a victory for Abbvie Inc., a global pharmaceutical company, when the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied class certification in a case alleging off-label marketing of a prescription drug.

The putative class plaintiff, a regional health insurance company, filed suit in 2014 against our client and several other pharmaceutical manufacturers, asserting claims under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) based on allegedly improper marketing to insurers, physicians, and patients. The plaintiff sought certification of a nationwide class of third-party payors and sought class-wide damages based on over a decade of reimbursements of the drug.

After extensive fact and expert discovery, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for class certification in its entirety, concluding both that the plaintiff was an inadequate class representative by virtue of its nonstandard business practices and that the individualized issues in the case predominate over any common ones.

This is the most recent of a string of successes for the Firm in third-party-payor class actions against pharmaceutical companies. Last year, the Firm secured a favorable ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirming the district court’s dismissal of another such case.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler advised with a team including Eric Barnosky, Michael Fresco, Elizabeth Quirk, Jesse Townsend, Amy Vegari, Jonah M. Knobler and William Cavanaugh (Picture).

Involved fees earner: William Cavanaugh – Patterson Belknap; Jonah Knobler – Patterson Belknap; Amy Vegari – Patterson Belknap; Jesse Townsend – Patterson Belknap; Elizabeth Quirk – Patterson Belknap; Michael Fresco – Patterson Belknap; Eric Barnosky – Patterson Belknap;

Law Firms: Patterson Belknap;

Clients: AbbVie Inc.;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti