SCM helped secure unanimous affirmance of a 12(b)(6) dismissal

Richard A. Vazquez and Robert T. Denny of Snow Christensen & Martineau, acting as local counsel, helped secure unanimous affirmance of a 12(b)(6) dismissal of various fraud and false claim act claims filed by the State of Utah against various pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Utah Court of Appeals. The claims arose out of the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) litigation filed by multiple State Attorneys General across the country against several branded and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The Utah Court of Appeals held that district court properly dismissed the State of Utah’s fraud-based-claims against various pharmaceutical manufacturers, when the State failed in its third amended complaint to follow the Utah Supreme Court’s particularity standard set forth in State v. Apotex Corp for pleading fraud-based Average Wholesale Price claims, and for failing to properly differentiate between several pharmaceutical subsidiaries in pleading its representative fraudulent acts. The court found that “guilt-by-association” pleading does not satisfy the fraud particularity standards of Utah R. Civ. P. 9(b), and that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the State’s claims with prejudice rather than granting the State leave to amend its complaint for a fourth time.

State v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2019 UT App 31 (Utah Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2019)

Richard A. Vazquez