BS&J Member Appointed to Class Action Antitrust Case Against Johnson & Johnson Unit

Mar 4, 2021

Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings (BS&J) member Joe P. Leniski, Jr. has been appointed to act as co-interim lead class counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in the proposed class action antitrust case against the Johnson & Johnson unit that makes the prostate cancer drug Zytiga. The proposed litigation alleges the company filed “sham” lawsuits against potential generic competitors over a patent it knew was invalid.

Mr. Leniski originally filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Kentucky Laborers’ Health and Welfare Fund, alleging that its self-insured prescription drug plan paid inflated prices for Zytiga for its members, retirees and their families due to Janssen Biotech’s infringement suits, filed to prohibit lower-priced generic versions from the market.

“In its efforts to prolong their monopoly in the market for abiraterone acetate, which is used to treat prostate cancer patients, Janssen Biotech filed infringement actions against generic drug manufacturers, using a fraudulent scheme to prevent them from selling the compound at a greatly reduced price,” Leniski said. “As a result of the company’s actions, the plaintiffs in the proposed class action suit have paid enormous amounts in overcharges that were unlawfully obtained by the defendants.”

On Feb. 21, 2021, interim lead class counsel filed their second consolidated class action complaint and are awaiting an answer from the defendants. The case is pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Case. No. 2:19-cv-14146-KM-JBC.