/Supreme Court saves $30-million verdict, denies Sandoz re-hearing

Supreme Court saves $30-million verdict, denies Sandoz re-hearing

This decision comes nearly six months after Sandoz Inc. moved to reconsider a 2011 verdict in Rankin County. Spokesmen from either side were not available for comment immediately. It was also not immediately clear whether Sandoz had any other options to reverse the verdict or deny its motion. An attorney involved in the case said, “It’s over”, but declined to be identified. Today’s decision was made without a written opinion. The votes for a rehearing were cast by justices Jess Dickinson and Ann Lamar. Chief Justice William Waller Jr., and Jimmy Maxwell were not present. Justices Jim Kitchens and Leslie King, Michael Randolph, Dawn Beam, did not vote to deny rehearing. After Mississippi Medicaid sued Sandoz (an international generic drug company), over allegations that it had fraudulently established a price for drugs to determine state Medicaid reimbursements between Jan. 1, 1991 and Oct. 20, 2005, the Rankin County Chancery Court rendered a verdict on Sept. 2, 2011. Zebert ordered Sandoz, after a long trial, to pay Mississippi Medicaid $23,954,618, an additional $2,699,000 per-violation damages and about $11,000,000 in punitive damages. This was later reduced to $3,750,000. Sandoz appealed to Zebert. However, a 4-4 split of the Mississippi Supreme Court in October 2015 upheld Sandoz’s lower court’s verdict. The drug company requested a rehearing before the Mississippi Supreme Court. It has two new justices that are not part of the original appeal split. Chief Justice William Waller Jr. was unavailable to vote for the drug company to add three more votes to the total of nine members of Mississippi’s Supreme Court.