1. What is this lawsuit about?
Cipro is an antibiotic drug prescribed by doctors. The lawsuit claims that Defendants violated California’s antitrust and consumer protection laws in connection with the sale in California of Cipro, and that Defendants agreed not to compete with each other, keeping lower-cost generic versions of Cipro off the market. Defendants, including Bayer, deny these claims and say their conduct was legal. The Defendants other than Bayer have not entered into settlements in these cases. Those Defendants are referred to as the “non-settling Defendants.”
2. What is a class action and who is involved?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Named Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people with similar claims together are a “Class” and are called “Class Members.” In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. The Court appointed Barbara Cohen, Karyn McGaughey, Donna Moore, Deborah Patane, Local 39 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the Sheet Metal Workers of Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada as Class Representatives in this case.
3. Why is there a Settlement?
While the case is still currently pending before the California Supreme Court, in order to avoid the uncertainty of continuing the litigation, Plaintiffs and Bayer have agreed to settle. That way, they avoid the cost of further litigation, and Class Members will get the benefits of the Settlement. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement with Bayer is best for all Class Members.
4. Why is the lawsuit continuing if there is a Settlement?
Bayer has agreed to settle these cases. The other Defendants have not agreed to settle, so the lawsuit, pending the outcome of the appeal currently before the California Supreme Court, will continue. More money may become available in the future as a result of additional settlements with and/or a trial against the non-settling Defendants, but there is no guarantee this will happen.
5. What happens if the Plaintiffs later reach a settlement with the non-settling Defendants?
The lawsuit will continue against the non-settling Defendants. As explained above, it is not known whether the Court’s dismissal of the Class case on summary judgment will be reversed, or whether the Class claims will be reinstated, or whether the plaintiffs would prevail against the non-settling Defendants at a trial. If there are additional settlements in the future, there will be notice of those settlements as well.
WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT
6. Am I part of this Settlement?
In general, persons and entities who bought the prescription antibiotic drug Cipro in California between January 8, 1997 and October 31, 2004 are Class Members and are eligible for a payment from the Settlement. The Class includes both consumers and third-party payors. Consumer Class Members are people that paid for some or all of the cost of Cipro in California. A Consumer Class Member purchased Cipro from a pharmacy or was administered Cipro in a hospital. These Class Members must have lived in California at any time between January 8, 1997 and October 31, 2004, and paid for some or all of the total cost of a Cipro prescription in California during that time.
A Third-Party Payor Class Member is an entity that is a party to a contract, issuer of a policy, or sponsor of a plan, and that must pay or reimburse all or part of the cost of Cipro dispensed to its California members.
Third-Party Payor Class Members could include:
- Entities with self-funded plans that contract with a health insurance company or other firm to serve as a third-party
claims administrator to administer such entities’ prescription drug benefits; or
- Insurance companies, union health and welfare benefit plans, and other organizations that paid for all or part of a Cipro
prescription obtained by one of their California members between January 8, 1997 and October 31, 2004.
7. Are there any exceptions to being included?
You are not a Class Member if any of the following is true:
• You previously asked to be excluded from (to opt out of) the Class in a timely and proper manner.
• You obtained Cipro through MediCal.
• You bought Cipro in order to resell it.
• You are a governmental entity.
• You paid a flat co-payment for Cipro and you would have paid the same co-payment for a generic substitute under the terms of your health insurance policy.
• You are a judge or justice who is or was assigned to hear any part of this litigation.
• You are a current or former officer or director of Bayer, or the complaint alleges you participated in the conspiracy that is the subject of the lawsuit.
8. If I previously asked to be excluded from the Class, can I change my mind now?
If you previously asked to be excluded from the Class (in response to the Court’s 2004 notice of class certification), you are not a Class Member. If you previously asked to be excluded from the Class and want to pursue claims against Bayer or the non-settling Defendants, you must do so in a separate lawsuit. In deciding whether to pursue any individual claim, or whether an individual claim is still viable, you should consult your own attorney.
9. If I previously did not ask to be excluded from the Class, can I change my mind now?
If you are a Class Member, you cannot exclude yourself from the Class because the deadline to exclude yourself has passed. Requests for exclusion needed to be postmarked by December 15, 2004, according to the previous Notice issued in this case. However, as a Class Member you may choose not to submit a claim. If you choose not to submit a claim you will not receive any money or benefits from the proposed Settlement.
10. I’m still not sure if I am included.
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can get help by calling the Claims Administrator at 1-866-404-0135.
11. What are my rights as a Class Member?
You can file a claim for a payment from the Settlement Fund (see Question 14). You can also comment on or object to the proposed Settlement (see Question 19).
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
12. What does the Settlement provide?
Bayer will pay $74,000,000 into a Settlement Fund (the “Fund”). Bayer has also agreed to cooperate with the Plaintiffs in the litigation against the non-settling Defendants. After deducting attorneys’ fees, costs, and other fees and expenses (see Question 18), the Fund will be distributed to Class Members who file valid claims. As a Class Member, you “release” your claims against Bayer. Those releases include any claims made (or that could have been made) in this lawsuit. The release is described in more detail in the Settlement Agreement in Section 13. The Settlement Agreement is available on the Court Documents tab on this website.
13. How much money can I get from the Settlement?
Settlement checks were mailed on February 12, 2015. Payment amounts were based on the Court-approved plan of allocation. If your claim was deemed valid and approved, your share depended on a number of factors including the total amount of Cipro you purchased between January 8, 1997 and October 31, 2004, the total number of valid claims that were submitted, and the fees and costs and expenses approved by the court.
SUBMITTING A CLAIM FORM
14. How can I get money from the Settlement?
The official court-ordered deadline for filing a claim has passed. Claims needed to be postmarked no later than March 31, 2014.
15. When will I get my payment?
Settlement checks were mailed on February 12, 2015.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
16. Who represents me in this case?
The Court appointed the following law firms as Class Counsel:
|Eric B. Fastiff
LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
ZWERLING, SCHACHTER & ZWERLING, LLP
1904 Third Avenue, Suite 1030
Seattle, WA 98101-1170
Class Members are also represented by the following law firms:
|Joseph R. Saveri
JOSEPH SAVERI LAW FIRM, INC.
505 Montgomery Street, Suite 625
San Francisco, CA 94111
KRAUSE, KALFAYAN, SLAVENS & BENINK, LLP
550 West C Street, Suite 530
San Diego, CA 92101
Together these law firms are called “Plaintiffs’ Counsel.”
17. Should I get my own lawyer?
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Plaintiffs’ Counsel is working on your behalf. If you want your own lawyer, you may hire one, but you will be responsible for any payment for that lawyer’s services. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Plaintiffs’ Counsel to speak for you. You may also appear for yourself without a lawyer.
18. How will the lawyers be paid?
Plaintiffs’ Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to one-third of the Settlement Fund to them for attorneys’ fees and to reimburse them for litigation costs they advanced in pursuing the claims. The fees would compensate Plaintiffs’ Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case (including through appeals), and negotiating and administering this Settlement. Plaintiffs’ Counsel will also ask the Court to approve payments of $2,500 to each of the individual Class Representatives and $15,000 to the Third-Party Payor Class Representatives to compensate them for their service to the Class. Plaintiffs’ Counsel may seek additional attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses from any future settlement or recovery obtained from non-settling Defendants. The costs of providing this Notice and administering this Settlement are being paid from the Settlement Fund.
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
19. How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the Settlement?
The deadline to object to the Settlement has passed. Objections had to be postmarked no later than October 16, 2013.
THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING
20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court granted Final Approval of the Settlement on November 15, 2013.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
21. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you are a Class Member who did not previously opt out, you’ll get no money from this Settlement and you won’t be able to collect any damages from Bayer for its alleged Cipro overcharges in California.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
224. Are more details about the Settlement available?
Yes. The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement; more details are in the proposed Settlement Agreement itself. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement on the Court Documents page on this website.
23. How do I get more information?
This website provides answers to common questions about the Settlement, Claim Forms, and other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment. You may also call 1-866-404-0135 or write to the Claims Administrator at:
|Cipro TPP Settlement
PO Box 3033
Faribault, MN 55021-2633
|Cipro Consumer Settlement
PO Box 3034
Faribault, MN 55021-2633
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT.
ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE OR THE SETTLEMENT SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR AND/OR TO COUNSEL.