Medical Mutual of Ohio v. AbbVie Inc. et al.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, Foley & Lardner LLP, Arnold & Porter, Reed Smith, Baron & Budd, Kanner & Whiteley and Golomb & Honik advised on the case

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois terminated a long-running case alleging off-label marketing of a prescription drug.

Medical Mutual (the plaintiff), a regional health insurance company, filed suit in 2014 against AbbVie, Actavis, Endo and Eli Lilly, asserting claims under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) based on allegedly improper marketing to insurers, physicians, and patients. The insurer sought certification of a nationwide class of third-party payors (TPPs) and damages based on over a decade of reimbursements of the drug.

After extensive fact and expert discovery, the court denied the insurer’s motion for class certification in July 2018. Then, in its most recent ruling, the court awarded summary judgment to the Firm’s client as to all of the insurer’s claims, ruling that there was “insufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that [the] alleged misrepresentations … proximately caused [the insurer’s] alleged injuries.”

This is the most recent of a string of successes for the Firm in TPP class actions against pharmaceutical companies. In 2017, 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 advised AbbVie with a team including William F. Cavanaugh Jr. (Picture), Jonah M. Knobler, Amy N. Vegari, Jesse Townsend, Elizabeth C. Quirk and Michael Fresco.

Foley & Lardner advised Actavis with James W. Matthews, Katy E. Koski, Jonathan W. Garlough and David B. Goroff.

Arnold & Porter advised Endo with Ingo W. Sprie Jr., Andrew K. Solow and Pamela Yates.

Reed Smith advised Eli Lilly with David E. Stanley and Janet H. Kwuon.

Baron & Budd advised Medical Mutual with W. Scott Simmer and Noah Rich.

Kanner & Whiteley LLC also advised Medical Mutual with Allan Kanner, Conlee S. Whiteley and Layne C. Hilton.

Golomb & Honik advised Medical Mutual with Ruben Honik and David J. Stanoch.

Involved fees earner: Andrew Solow – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Ingo Sprie Jr – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Pamela Yates – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Noah Rich – Baron & Budd; Scott Simmer – Baron & Budd; Jonathan Garlough – Foley & Lardner LLP; David Goroff – Foley & Lardner LLP; Katy Kosk – Foley & Lardner LLP; James Matthews – Foley & Lardner LLP; Ruben Honik – Golomb & Honik; David Stanoch – Golomb & Honik; Layne Hilton – Kanner & Whiteley; Allan Kanner – Kanner & Whiteley; Conlee Whiteley – Kanner & Whiteley; William Cavanaugh – Patterson Belknap; Michael Fresco – Patterson Belknap; Jonah Knobler – Patterson Belknap; Elizabeth Quirk – Patterson Belknap; Jesse Townsend – Patterson Belknap; Amy Vegari – Patterson Belknap; Janet Kwuon – Reed Smith; David Stanley – Reed Smith;

Law Firms: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Baron & Budd; Foley & Lardner LLP; Golomb & Honik; Kanner & Whiteley; Patterson Belknap; Reed Smith;

Clients: AbbVie Inc.; Actavis; Eli Lilly; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Medical Mutual of Ohio;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti