Alabama Supreme Court Reverses $78.4 Million Verdict against Sandoz
Jul 16, 2012
On July 13, 2012, the Alabama Supreme Court overturned a $78.4 million jury verdict in favor of the State of Alabama and rendered judgment in favor of defendant Sandoz, Inc. Lightfoot attorneys Chris King, Nikaa Jordan, and Tenley Armstrong handled the appeal for Sandoz. The case involved claims by the Alabama Medicaid Agency that it had overpaid for generic drugs as a result of artificially inflated prices published by Sandoz. The Court ruled in an 8-1 opinion that the State neither actually nor reasonably relied on the published prices as representing the amounts actually paid by pharmacies for drugs. Rather, the Court ruled that the agency's reimbursement formulas were based on policy choices by the agency with an awareness of what the published prices actually represented. This awareness defeated the State's fraud claim as a matter of law. The Sandoz opinion followed a similar opinion in 2009 involving brand pharmaceuticals in which Lightfoot had represented Novartis. Co- counsel for Sandoz were Michael Gallagher of White & Case in New York and Tabor Novak of Ball, Ball, Matthews and Novak in Montgomery, AL.