U.S. Markets closed

And the LOTW Runners Up...

Runner up for Litigator of the Week include Winston & Strawn litigation department co-chair George Lombardi plus partners Nimalka Wickramasekera and Ivan Poullaos, who scored for Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary Actavis Elizabeth LLC in Delaware federal court. The trio convinced a jury that two of Teva’s generic medicines did not infringe Swedish drugmaker Orexo’s opioid addiction treatment drug Zubsolv. Orexo was seeking at least $41 million in damages.

It wasn’t Teva’s only win in Delaware this week. Goodwin Procter partner Elizabeth Holland represented the drug maker in a patent infringement fight against Cosmo Technologies and Valeant Pharmaceuticals that went to trial in 2017. Not only did she and her team prevail on judgment as a matter of law, she’s now convinced U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark that the case was exceptional and warrants an award of attorneys’ fees. Sweet!

Nixon Peabody’s Scott O’Connell, chair of the firm’s litigation department, also capped a win with an award of legal fees. He successfully represented 26 New Hampshire hospitals suing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a suit involving reimbursement rates. On March 28, a federal judge in New Hampshire awarded fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, finding that CMS’ position in the litigation was not “substantially justified.”

We were also impressed by a Jenner & Block team’s appellate win in California state court on behalf of three community groups who sued state officials including the governor. Partner Neil Barofsky along with partners Rick Richmond, Jessica Ring Amunson and Jeffrey Atteberry alleged that then-Governor Jerry Brown wrongly diverted $331 million from a legal settlement designated to help struggling homeowners and instead used the money to pay down housing bonds. The legislature passed a law approving the move, but even so, a state appeals court said it was improper.

Also in California state court, a jury in Contra Costa Superior Court awarded $21.4 million to the families of two brothers who said they died of cancer as a result of their exposure to the chemical benzene. Union Oil, which made a benzene-containing rubber solvent that the brothers used at their job, was accused of failing to warn of the danger. It was a big win for Mary Alexander of Mary Alexander & Associates; Scott Frieling of Allen Stewart; and Rajeev Mittal of Waters Kraus & Paul.