Court backs Venable's numerosity argument when determining proposed class
Washington, DC (September 15, 2016) – A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a Philadelphia federal judge's decision to certify a class of approximately 22 direct purchasers accusing drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. of delaying entry of a generic version of the narcolepsy drug Modafinil. Venable partner J. Douglas Baldridge made the argument to the appellate court on behalf of Ranbaxy.
In its ruling, the panel said the lower court performed ably, but the relevant legal inquiry had not yet been sufficiently defined and therefore erred in certifying the class. The Third Circuit then defined, for the first time, the factors a court must consider when determining the numerosity requirement for certifying a class. Among other things, Mr. Baldridge argued that several of the class members were large corporations and the actual class size was likely fewer than 22 members. The lower court was ordered to conduct a rigorous numerosity analysis that includes consideration of the financial resources of the class members, the geographic dispersion of the class members, the ability to identify future claimants, and the fact that these claims are for damages, and not injunctive relief.
In addition to Mr. Baldridge, the Venable team on the case includes Danielle R. Foley, Lisa Jose Fales, David L. Feinberg, Vincent E. Verrocchio, Paul Feinstein, Kristin M. Koger, and Jessica A. Swauger.
The ruling the Venable team's latest victory on behalf of Ranbaxy. In 2014, following a six-week trial, a federal court returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Ranbaxy in the first reverse payment suit to go to trial since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Actavis subjecting Hatch-Waxman Act settlements to the rule of reason analysis under federal antitrust law.
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