Last week a Pennsylvania federal judge denied class certification to a group of direct purchasers who accused Venable's client Ranbaxy of allegedly entering into illegal agreements with the maker of the branded prescription narcolepsy medication Provigil, to delay market entry of Ranbaxy's generic version.
In 2015, the same judge had granted this group of purchasers class certification, however that ruling was appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Before the Third Circuit, Venable argued that the district court's order certifying the direct purchaser class missed the mark with respect to numerosity and went against the U.S. Supreme Court's precedent in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, which established stricter class certification standards. The appellate panel found that 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. 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. Based on this analysis, the court denied class certification.
The Venable team was led by J. Douglas Baldridge, who argued the matter before the Third Circuit and District Court, along with Danielle R. Foley, Lisa Jose Fales, Vincent E. Verrocchio, Paul Feinstein, David L. Feinberg, Andrew T. Hernacki, Jessica A. Swauger, Kelly E. Johnson, Jean Mooney, and Karen LaMarra.