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Teva Generic Price-Fixing Securities Suit Gets Class Status (1)

March 9, 2021, 7:57 PMUpdated: March 9, 2021, 8:42 PM

Shareholders who hit Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. with securities lawsuits may proceed as a class in their consolidated action alleging a generic drug price-fixing conspiracy that they also say led to inflated prices and misrepresentations about Teva’s success.

The class certification Tuesday by a federal judge in Connecticut covers some plaintiffs in 25 separate lawsuits, including four proposed class actions, brought against Teva, its various subsidiaries, and current and former Teva employees. They allege the company inflated prices on certain generic drugs. The plaintiffs say Teva violated federal and state securities laws by publicly attributing its success to good business decisions when it was actually thriving because of artificially increased prices.

The lead and named plaintiffs in the case moved for class certification on June 19, and that motion was granted by Judge Stefan R. Underhill just about one year after the case was consolidated. Underhill, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also rejected Teva’s motion to exclude the opinions of the plaintiffs’ expert.

Underhill said defendants’ Daubert motion, which addresses expert testimony, is “essentially duplicative of their opposition to class certification.” He also noted that the tests discussed by their expert, David I. Tabak, were relevant, despite a challenge based on a single event study.

The judge said the plaintiffs have established all the prerequisites of Rule 23(a) and Rule 23(b)(3), and noted that the class will likely include “thousands of members,” which is “well above” the 40-member threshold generally accepted to be sufficient for numerosity. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Anchorage Police & Fire Retirement System were appointed class representatives.

The judge also issued a second order Tuesday supplementing statements he made during a conference call in which the court denied defendants’ request to delay the then-pending motion for class certification. In that order, Underhill said the “new” information the defendants identified didn’t warrant re-opening of discovery.

“As I have already indicated on the record, I disagree with the Defendants,” the judge wrote in the supplemental order. “I view their complaints as belated, specious, and, in several cases, irrelevant.”

Defendants are represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, and Shipman & Goodwin LLP. Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP and Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP represent the plaintiffs.

The case is In re Teva Sec. Litig., D. Conn., No. 3:17-cv-558, 3/9/21.

(Updates story with additional reporting in fourth through seventh paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com