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SEC Award Record $114 Million Whistleblower Reward

The Security and Exchange Commission announced a record award of $114 million to a whistleblower after their work assisted both an SEC case and a case with another agency. The previous record was $50 million, awarded earlier in 2020.

Since 2012 the SEC has awarded 108 whistleblowers a total of $676 million. SEC whistleblower rewards are paid from monetary sanctions from SEC security violations. Whistleblowers can be awarded 10 to 30 percent of a sanction for their contributions and remain anonymous.

Actavis Intuniv Settlement

Actavis has agreed to settle claims from direct purchasers of Intuniv that the company used a pay-for-delay scheme to delay generic competition of their attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder drug.

United Healthcare Files Against Merck for Zetia Pay-For-Delay

United Healthcare filed a complaint against Merck, Glenmark and Par alleging they conspired to prevent generic competition for Zetia. Previous class actions regarding Zetia pay-for-delay were consolidated in an MDL in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Plaintiffs allege Merck violated antitrust laws by entering into a “reverse payment” agreement in 2010 to delay generic competitors until December 2016. The result was six years of inflated pricing and an illegal payment by Merck to remove the competition and maintain the pricing.

House Oversight Committee Reports on Drug Price Fixing

On September 30, 2020, the House Oversight and Reform Committee reported their first findings from an 18-month investigation into drug company pricing practices. The committee found drug companies are taking advantage of the federal law that prohibits Medicare from negotiating lower prices directly with drug companies.

The investigation includes reviews of Teva Copaxone price increases and Bristol Myers Squibb Revlimid price increases. Copaxone pricing was raised 27 times by Teva, raising the price per year of the medication from $10k to $70k. Revlimid price was increased 22 times from $215 to $763.

Schneider Wallace Gets “Whopping” ERISA Verizon Claim Certified

As seen in Law360, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe of the Southern District of New York certified a class of up to 200,000 Verizon workers who participated in a Verizon 401(k) plan.

The lawsuit alleges mismanagement of funds in the Verizon 2040 target-date-fund (TDF), specifically Verizon’s Global Opportunity Fund. The complaint alleges that the fund has an “obvious and long-term underperformance over a ten-year period”. The class contains all participants of the 401(k) retirement plan who had saved in the Global Opportunity Fund during the relevant time period. The participation could be direct or indirect and may include up to 200,000 workers.

Todd M. Schneider, partner at Schneider Wallace and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, was quoted in Law360 that they “look forward to moving this certified class to trial.”

Todd Schneider Discusses ERISA with Law360

Todd Schneider discusses the status of ERISA and class action law with Law360. He discusses the Supreme Court’s 2020 ERISA cases, defense efforts to limit ERISA litigation, which cases are ripe to take forward, Schneider Wallace’s 2020 victories in the Eighth Circuit, and the skills needed to be effective in ERISA law today.

Pharmaceutical Antitrust Litigation Updates – Sept. 1, 2020

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky is tracking major pharmaceutical litigation news for clients and counsel.

In this update, we cover a DOJ False Claims Act complaint against Teva for kickbacks for Copaxone, certification of a class against Merck for Zetia direct purchasers, a settlement by Actavis for Intuniv, certification of a class against Bausch for Glumetza direct purchasers, and denial of a motion to dismiss by Mallinckrodt on Acthar.

Schneider Wallace Appointed Lead Counsel In Massive Bitcoin Manipulation Class Action

A New York federal judge has appointed SWCK and its co-counsel interim lead counsel in a bitcoin market manipulation case against Bitfinex and Tether alleging hundreds of billions in damages. As reported in Law360, U.S. District Judge Katherine Failla picked the Schneider Wallace team from two other sets of legal teams vying for lead plaintiff appointment in the putative class action accusing Tether, the issuer of a “stablecoin” cryptocurrency of the same name, and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex of engaging in a “part-fraud, part-pump-and-dump, and part-money laundering” scheme that eventually cost cryptocurrency investors hundreds of billions of dollars.  

Schneider Wallace Appointed Lead Counsel In Case Alleging Dangerous HIV Medication Against Gilead Sciences

Schneider Wallace Appointed Lead Counsel In Case Alleging Dangerous HIV Medication Against Gilead Sciences

Schneider Wallace Wins Summary Judgment On Behalf Of Over 10,000 Truckers

Schneider Wallace Wins Summary Judgment On Behalf Of Over 10,000 Truckers On December 28, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona ruled that North American trucking giant Swift Transportation violated federal minimum wage laws by not paying its trainee truck drivers for hundreds of thousands of compensable hours. Schneider Wallace represents more than 10,000 trainee truckers who had several hours of pay wrongly deducted on a daily basis as a result of Swift’s unlawful policies.  Schneider Wallace presented uncontroverted evidence that Swift—the largest common carrier in the United States—routinely confined the trainees to a bunk bed in the truck’s cramped “sleeper berth” for more than 15 hours a day without pay, often while the truck was moving.  In a 36-page order granting the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, Judge Roslyn Silver of the District of Arizona described Swift’s practices as “draconian” and “uniquely harsh,” ruling that the trainees are entitled to minimum wage for numerous unpaid hours confined to the truck. The case will proceed to a trial on damages in early 2019.