The health care industry has faced explosive growth—and uncertainty—in recent years. Health care and life sciences companies must contend with constantly evolving business, litigation, and regulatory compliance risks, which may rise and fall with political tides.
We play a central role in helping health care and life sciences companies keep up with rapid and unpredictable change, providing counsel and representation to high-profile pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies; institutional health care providers; insurers; doctors; and corporate executives. We have extensive experience addressing the increasingly complex civil, regulatory, and criminal issues that challenge our health care clients. We also safeguard clients’ business interests and guide them through intricate business and regulatory environments to avoid litigation whenever possible.
When litigation is unavoidable, however, we have the know-how to represent our clients from pre-litigation counsel through trial and appeals, in state and federal court, and before arbitral tribunals. We have a record of success in prosecuting and defending allegations of health care fraud; have secured prosecution declinations in high-profile criminal investigations; and successfully defended our health care clients in national litigation alleging trade secret violations, off-label promotion, and false advertising. Our team leverages extensive experience in litigation across a wide range of legal issues, including anti-kickback; licensing; privacy; corporate practice of medicine; unfair business and trade practices laws; RICO; the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; federal and state false claims acts; Medicare, Medicaid, and workers’ compensation fraud; and a variety of other state and federal statutes.
In addition, we have conducted more than 25 high-stakes investigations on behalf of governing boards of health care companies, hospitals, and research institutions.
Won a “landmark” opioid trial for Endo Pharmaceuticals in a $50 billion action. Three of the most populous counties in California and the City of Oakland brought suit against opioid manufacturers alleging false advertising, unfair competition and public nuisance. The jurisdictions claimed that manufacturers’ alleged false and misleading marketing caused a $50 billion public nuisance. The win was hailed as “giv[ing] drug companies their first major victory in the litigation brought by cities and counties across the country over the opioid crisis,” American Lawyer. (See “How Hueston Hennigan Notched A Landmark Opioid Trial Win,” Law360; “Opioid Makers Win Major Victory in California Trial,” New York Times; “Drug Makers Handed First Win Out of Thousands of National Opioid Crisis Lawsuits,” Newsweek).
Successfully represented Endo Pharmaceuticals in litigation related to opioid abuse in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Following extensive fact and expert development that strengthened Endo’s position, the case favorably settled on the eve of trial. (See “Endo Reaches $10M Deal With SF Ahead Of Opioid Trial,” Law360).
Defending Kaiser Foundation Health Plan against allegations of systemically underpaying hospitals. In Los Robles Regional Med. Ctr. v. Kaiser, HCA Healthcare Inc. alleges that Kaiser violated California law by not adequately reimbursing hospitals for emergency medical services provided to Kaiser members over several years. This is a significant action with hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged damages. We took over as lead trial counsel shortly before trial.
Successfully defended Amgen in a multibillion-dollar national securities fraud class action alleging misstatements and omissions related to several of Amgen’s most important drugs. Amgen retained us after the case was remanded by the Supreme Court of the United States. After successful motions practice, we obtained a highly favorable settlement on the securities class action. We also successfully moved to dismiss multiple shareholder derivative actions in state and federal courts to finally resolve the decade-old case. (See “Amgen Beats Decade-Old Investor Suit over Off-Label Scheme,” Law360).
Won a dismissal of a putative class action against Allergan subsidiary Zeltiq Aesthetics (Otero v. Zeltiq Aesthetics), alleging that customers of the company’s high-profile CoolSculpting fat-freezing system were deceived by marketing materials that described the medical device as having been “cleared” but not “approved” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (See “Allergan’s Fat-Freezing Unit Freed From False Ad Claims,” Law360).
Defeated emergency attempts to enjoin Kaiser Permanente’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. In United KP Freedom Alliance v. Kaiser Permanente, a federal lawsuit alleging violations of constitutional rights and California law, we defeated requests for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and obtained dismissal of all claims at the pleading stage. (See “Kaiser Permanente Employees Denied Relief from Vaccine Mandate,” Bloomberg Law).
Secured a preliminary injunction for Amgen to protect pricing information. In this highly watched case with important implications for the pharmaceutical industry, we obtained a ruling that pricing information submitted to the state pursuant to California Senate Bill 17 is protectable trade secrets and may not be disclosed in response to a California Public Records Act request.
Obtained declinations for former Chief Scientific Officer of a Fortune 250 company in connection with DOJ and FDA criminal and civil investigations concerning alleged data manipulation for the first approved gene therapy drug.
Obtained a favorable settlement for GlaxoSmithKline against Abbott Laboratories. This high-profile antitrust, unfair competition, and breach of contract action concerned Abbot’s abuse of its market dominance and predatory pricing of HIV drugs.
Defeated $100mm+ trade secret, fraud and breach of contract case against Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The dispute concerned interocular lens technology. We obtained dismissal on the pleadings after discovery.
Obtained dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit against Valeant Pharmaceuticals The qui tam plaintiff alleged that defendants had made fraudulent and misleading statements to the US Patent and Trademark Office to obtain a patent covering an anti-inflammatory drug. We prevailed on a motion to dismiss. (See “Valeant Beats Patent Atty’s ‘Parasitic’ Whistleblower Claims,” Law360).
Prevailed for Bausch Health Companies in a trade secret and breach of contract case. After taking over this litigation, we aggressively moved to bring the case to an end, winning a motion for judgment on the pleadings. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit again sided with Bausch and refused to revive the case.
Defending Valeant Pharmaceuticals against allegations that it fraudulently obtained patents on medications and misrepresented claims for payment submitted to various state and federal agencies in violation of the False Claims Act.
Defended Amgen and former executives in several securities class actions, including shareholder, derivative, and ERISA matters. After moving for summary judgment, obtained favorable settlements in the shareholder and ERISA matters and dismissals of the derivative matters.
Terminated criminal and civil fraud investigations, with no conviction, for a pharmacy and pharmacy owner related to the unauthorized distribution of controlled substances.
Defended Valeant Pharmaceuticals in multibillion-dollar securities class actions alleging violation of insider trading and control person liability statutes. After argument on summary judgment motions, obtained favorable settlements on all matters.
Conducted an internal investigation of the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, concluding with actionable items designed to enhance the integrity of the system.
Terminated criminal and parallel civil investigations targeting the CEO of a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer for alleged complicity in an off-label promotion scheme and false and misleading public statements and filings regarding device development.
Terminated the criminal investigation of a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer alleging FDA violations and a cover-up without payment of a fine or civil settlement.
Obtained prosecution declinations for the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and former individual “targets” in a high-profile health care fraud investigation of the UCI liver transplant program.
Obtained a prosecution declination for Kaiser Permanente in investigations of alleged HIPAA violations.
Resolved a tristate attorneys general investigation into alleged false advertising by a Fortune 500 health care company without fines or penalties.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of False Claims Act allegation against a public entity alleged to be worth tens of millions of dollars.
Represented a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer in a criminal investigation concerning alleged violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, including allegations of knowingly manufacturing adulterated and misbranded medical devices, and violations of the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices. No charges were filed against our client.