California Federal Court Rules in Favor of CVS in Putative Class Action

December 2018

Williams & Connolly won dismissal and a judgment in favor of CVS Pharmacy, Inc. and other CVS affiliates on all eight claims brought in California federal court by a putative nationwide class.  The putative class claimed that CVS’s administration of prescription drug benefits plans for certain specialty medications was discriminatory and unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and various California state laws, and that it violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Williams & Connolly moved to dismiss the claims, and Grant Geyerman and Sarah O’Connor argued the motion before the federal court in September 2018.  On December 12, 2018, the court dismissed each of the eight claims with prejudice, and entered judgment for the CVS defendants.  The court found that the benefit plan restrictions at issue did not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status or disability more generally and were not otherwise unfair or unlawful under California statutes.  It further held that the CVS defendants could not be liable under ERISA because the putative class members’ insurance plans did not entitle them to the benefits they sought and because the CVS defendants were not fiduciaries with respect to the benefit plans.

The Williams & Connolly team was composed of Enu Mainigi, Grant Geyerman, Sarah O’Connor, and Ben Graham.

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