Week Adjourned: 9.9.16 – EpiPen, Nature Valley, Amgen

(Mylan N. V.)
(Mylan N. V.)

Top Class Action Lawsuits

Mylan Pharmaceuticals may need it’s own EpiPen if this gets to court. The maker of the EpiPen device, is facing a price gouging class action lawsuit. Filed by a resident of Ohio, the lawsuit asserts that the sharp increase in price the company has put in place violates Ohio state consumer protection laws.

Mylan has reportedly raised the US price of the device, which is used to for emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions, from less than $100, when it acquired the device in 2007, to over $600. EpiPen works by injecting a dose of the drug epinephrine into the thigh to counter dangerous allergic reactions to things like bee stings, shellfish and peanuts. It has a 94 percent share of the market for such auto-injector devices.

The EpiPen lawsuit has been filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Hamilton County, Ohio, by Cincinnati resident Linda Bates, whose son requires an EpiPen. According to the complaint, “The outrageous, unconscionable and immoral high prices set by Defendant is nothing more than price gouging.”

The complaint further claims that the price increases violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, which prohibits “unconscionable” acts in connection with consumer transactions, including taking advantage of a consumer’s “physical infirmities.”

What can one say?

Some Granola To Crunch On… Here’s another one—General Mills got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit this week over allegations its Nature Valley products contain a chemical that could be carcinogenic. Hey—maybe it adds flavor. Or not. But somehow the descriptive “carcinogenic” doesn’t sound like its quintessentially from an idyllic fantasyland called “Nature Valley”.

Filed by Yesenia Nuez, a resident of New York, the Nature Valley lawsuit asserts that General Mills promoted its Nature Valley bars as “Made with 100% Natural Whole-Grain Oats.” According to Nuez, these claims are false, because the bars contain oats that are not 100 per cent naturally made. Rather, they contain the chemical glysophate. Glysophate is a potent biocide, a probable carcinogen and a human endocrine disrupter, according to the suit. Nuez claims that as a result, the Nature Valley bars could be causing harm to consumers.

Yesenia Nuez filed the class-action lawsuit, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, alleging false, deceptive and misleading advertising practices regarding its Nature Valley products. The case is U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Case number 1:16-cv-04731-FB-VMS

Top Settlements

Amgen Securities Settlement. A $95 million settlement has been reached in a securities class action lawsuit pending against pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc.

Brought by investors, the lawsuit claims that Amgen failed to disclose the results of a study known as DAHANCA 10, which tested Aranesp in head and neck cancer patients in Denmark. When Amgen’s failure to disclose was discovered and reported, the company’s stock crashed.

The period in which class members were affected is between April 22, 2004 and May 10, 2007. Under the agreement, Amgen will pay $95 million into a settlement fund  to be distributed to class members. The settlement is subject to court approval.

The lawsuit is In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation, CV-07-2536 PSG, pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Ka-Ching! That’s a wrap folks—see you at the Bar.