U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Class Action Certification
Causation – Dismissal of Individual Claims
Sergeants Benevolent Ass’n v. Sanofi Aventis US
Judges Cabranes, Livingston and Droney
Background: The plaintiffs appealed from an order that denied their motion to certify a proposed class and granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs sought to certify a class of health insurance plans that paid for prescriptions of the defendants’ antibiotic drug. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by making misrepresentations that underplayed the drug’s safety risks.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. The court held that the plaintiffs could not show causation by generalized evidence and have offered no individualized evidence. Therefore, the claims could not be litigated as a class action and the defendants were entitled to summary judgment on the individual claims.
Thomas Sobal of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro for the plaintiffs-appellees; William N. Withrow Jr. of Troutman Sanders for the defendants-appellees