Refuses Request for Injunction
Venable scored another important victory in Federal District Court in Boston on behalf of its client, Ranbaxy, when Judge William G. Young denied Plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial in the In Re: Nexium (Esomeprazole) Antitrust Litigation. He also denied Plaintiffs’ request for a permanent injunction.
The decision follows the December 2014 jury verdict in favor of Venable’s client, Ranbaxy, and AstraZeneca on Plaintiffs’ claims that Ranbaxy and AstraZeneca entered into a so-called reverse payment settlement in violation of the antitrust laws when they settled their patent litigation over AstraZeneca’s Nexium product. After a six-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defense.
The case was the first reverse payment suit to go to trial since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2013 that the Hatch-Waxman Act settlements could be challenged under federal antitrust law.
In his decision, Judge Young reviewed the course of the trial and found that there was no basis for granting a new trial. Judge Young wrote, “The question now before this Court in considering these post-trial motions is thus whether the trial proceedings here were sufficiently fair that one can have a strong degree of confidence in the outcome. The answer to that question is that they were.” Judge Young praised the jurors and the system itself for getting it right the first time, stating in his closing paragraphs that “every single jury trial is both a test and a celebration of the right of a free people to govern themselves.”
The Court also denied the Plaintiffs’ request for an injunction because the Plaintiffs failed to prove a violation of the antitrust laws. Specifically, because the jury concluded that the Ranbaxy-AstraZeneca settlement did not cause any antitrust injury, Plaintiffs were not entitled to an injunction. On this point the Court commented, “[T]ested against the common sense of actual jurors, the Plaintiffs’ evidence fell short. Far short.”
The Venable trial team was led by Douglas Baldridge, Lisa Jose Fales and Danielle Foley. Commenting on the decision, Mr. Baldridge said, "I could not more clearly state the view of my team than Judge Young did. No doubt, a fair result was achieved."
Venable LLP is an American Lawyer 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. Our lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of domestic and international clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs.