Bloomberg Law
Feb. 15, 2023, 9:57 PMUpdated: Feb. 15, 2023, 10:34 PM

Cigna Gets Restraining Order in CVS Exec Noncompete Case (1)

Annelise Gilbert
Annelise Gilbert

Cigna Corp. was granted a temporary restraining order in its lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy Inc. over its hiring of Amy Bricker, a former executive for the health insurance company.

The order was issued shortly after a hearing before Judge Ronnie L. White at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis, according to a minute entry on the docket. That entry states only that a temporary restraining order has been granted, without elaboration as to its scope and to whom it applies. A written order is to issue, according to the docket entry.

The hearing was closed to the public. Counsel who participated in it have declined to comment.

The insurer had submitted to the court a proposed order blocking Bricker from providing any services to CVS, or allowing her to assume the position there of chief product officer for consumer health. Cigna also asked the court to bar CVS from employing her or otherwise interfering with Cigna’s contractual rights.

Cigna, claiming Bricker breached the terms of a noncompete agreement, has argued in court papers that unrestrained she could “severely undermine its business” by disclosing “some of the most competitively sensitive information in the entire company” to its direct competitor.

CVS countered that Bricker’s noncompete is unenforceable because it’s “overly broad” and “anti-competitive,” adding that it doesn’t apply to her position at CVS because it will be unlike her role at Cigna.

The defendants previously argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over the federal law claims, which failed on the merits, and that the court should decline supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims. The court denied their motion Feb. 8, holding it has diversity jurisdiction.

Bricker, at last word, was to assume her position at CVS on Feb. 20, according to the defendants. She’d previously served as the head of Cigna’s Express Scripts pharmacy benefits unit, and her appointment to CVS was announced Jan. 23. Cigna sued CVS and Bricker three days later after negotiations over the move allegedly reached an impasse.

‘Intimate Knowledge’

In its petition, Cigna said Bricker’s “intimate knowledge” of its entire healthcare services business couldn’t be overstated. The defendants responded that Cigna “grossly inflates” Bricker’s responsibilities, saying she remained two degrees removed from leadership. Cigna denied her a seat at its executive leadership table and paid her less than her male counterparts, defendants said.

Cigna further pointed to concerning conduct by Bricker, including an allegation that she purposefully deleted all data on her company-issued phone after delaying returning it. The defendants characterized the allegation as “an unwarranted effort to sling mud” at Bricker, saying it was normal practice.

The insurer also emphasized that the noncompete was reserved for only the very highest level of Cigna employees, noting that only 16 active employees out of its 70,000-person workforce were asked to agree to the non-competition restriction that prohibits them from accepting employment with any competitor in any position for two years.

Enforcing the noncompete and granting the injunction would cause Bricker “immediate, irreparable harm” by sidelining her for two of the “most productive” years of her career, CVS said. Cigna said the injunction wouldn’t “render Bricker destitute,” considering she received a $750,000 bonus in the fall of 2022 and millions of dollars in compensation.

Counsel for CVS and Bricker declined to comment. Cigna’s media department didn’t immediately respond to an email and voicemail message seeking comment.

Husch Blackwell LLP represents Cigna. Dowd Bennett LLP represents CVS. Armstrong Teasdale LLP, Dowd Bennett LLP, Foley Hoag LLP, and Vedder Price PC represent Bricker and CVS.

The case is Cigna Corp. v. Bricker, E.D. Mo., No. 23-cv-00093, 2/15/23.

(Updates story with no comment from attorneys for CVS and Bricker in the 13th paragraph.)

—With assistance from Christopher Brown.

To contact the reporter on this story: Annelise Gilbert at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at; Nicholas Datlowe at; Andrew Harris at

Learn more about Bloomberg Law or Log In to keep reading:

Learn About Bloomberg Law

AI-powered legal analytics, workflow tools and premium legal & business news.

Already a subscriber?

Log in to keep reading or access research tools.