Noted Dallas Attorney Warren Burns Selected to Lead Nationwide Class Action Over EpiPen Pricing
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – A federal judge in Kansas has appointed Dallas lawyer Warren T. Burns and two other attorneys to lead a nationwide class action against Mylan NV and other defendants over pricing practices involving the EpiPen allergy treatment. Burns is a partner at Burns Charest LLP, a litigation boutique with offices in Dallas and New Orleans.
Mylan, the U.S. distributor of EpiPens, sparked outrage after raising the price of its life-saving product from $100 in 2008 to more than $600 by 2016. EpiPens offer a life-saving dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to children and adults suffering acute allergic reactions. Congress and federal agencies have since opened investigations into EpiPen pricing.
“This suit is about taking a stand for Americans who suffer life-threatening conditions,” Burns said. “We intend to send a message to Mylan and other companies that preying on the weak and the sick is no longer an accepted method of padding their bottom line.”
According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge John W. Lungstrum, Mylan coerced consumers into buying EpiPen two-packs at exaggerated prices. Mylan also used patent lawsuits and administrative actions to delay the entry of competitors that might have undercut its prices. The plaintiffs claim those actions violate state antitrust and consumer protection laws, as well as the federal RICO racketeering statute.
Joining Burns as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs’ committee are Lynn Sarko of Seattle’s Keller Rohrback L.L.P. and Rex A. Sharp of Rex A. Sharp, P.A., in Prairie Village, Kansas.
“What we are seeing is a fraudulent scheme designed to maintain high corporate profits,” Burns said. “At the same time it was raking in cash, Mylan was forcing American children and adults to choose between purchasing an overpriced drug or risking death. This just can’t be how business is conducted in America.”
Mylan and other defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ suit. Burns expects the court to decide that motion by July, potentially leading to discovery this summer into Mylan’s secret pricing practices and decisions.
“This is an important case for all Americans,” Burns said. “This is a test case for whether Americans can put effective stops on runaway drug pricing.”
The case is In re: Mylan EpiPen Litigation, 2:16-cv-02711-JWL-KGG, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
Burns Charest is a Dallas and New Orleans-based trial law firm with a national practice representing consumers and businesses. The firm represents clients in large, complex class actions; antitrust claims; oil and gas royalty disputes; environmental pollution cases; and asbestos exposure claims.