Ellis & Rapacki LLP handles complex civil litigation for plaintiffs, primarily claims involving consumer fraud, serious personal injury or death, and “whistleblower” actions. Almost all of our cases focus on some type of corporate wrongdoing, from the negligent failure to provide adequate security to the intentional overcharging of consumers or the government. Some of the more notable cases the firm has successfully handled include:

1. Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
Representing numerous victims and actively litigating several cases, including a wrongful death case, arising out of contaminated steroids compounded by New England Compounding Center, which declared bankruptcy on December 21, 2012. Claims against associated defendants are ongoing.

2. False Claims Act Case Against sanofi-aventis US
Represented former pharmaceutical representative who was awarded more than $18.5 million for blowing the whistle on sanofi-aventis’s nationwide practice of providing physicians with “free samples” of the injectable medication Hyalgan as an improper inducement to buy the drug and bill Medicare, Medicaid and other federally-funded health programs. Sanofi-aventis agreed to pay $109 million to the federal and state governments to settle the case.

3. False Claims Act Case Against Victory Pharma, Inc.
Represented whistleblower who disclosed nationwide kickback scheme that resulted in Victory Pharma’s agreement to pay more than $12.2 million to the federal and state governments. The kickbacks, including tickets to sporting events, dinners, and cash for “preceptorships,” were paid to induce physicians to prescribe Victory Pharma’s pain medications. Our client was awarded more than $1.7 million.

4. Defective Implants
Successfully litigated over one hundred implant cases, with several jury verdicts of over $1 million. Appointed by the federal court as National Liaison Counsel in hundreds of cases against Dow Corning Corporation.

5. False Claims Act Case Against Cephalon, Inc.
Represented a “whistleblower,” or relator, in a qui tam action arising from the illegal off-label drug marketing practices of the pharmaceutical company Cephalon, Inc. The case, along with three other qui tam actions and a related criminal matter, were settled by Cephalon’s payment of $425 million to the federal government and several states. Our client shared an award of over $58 million with the three other whistleblowers.

6. Massachusetts Vitamin Price-Fixing Litigation
Represented a class of Massachusetts consumers who paid higher prices for processed food products as a result of a price-fixing conspiracy in the bulk vitamin industry. The firm was lead counsel in this precedent-setting case, which resulted in more than $23 million in settlement payments.

7. In Re: GECC Bankruptcy Reaffirmation Agreements Litigation
The firm was lead counsel in litigation challenging General Electric Capital Corp.’s debt collection practices involving consumers who filed for bankruptcy and were requested to “reaffirm” their debt to GECC. The firm negotiated a nationwide class action settlement valued at over $100 million providing full reimbursement to class members.

8. Eappen v. Woodward
Represented the parents of Matthew Eappen, the 8 month-old baby who was killed by Louise Woodward, in the civil case against Woodward. Among the terms of the confidential settlement was a provision barring Woodward from personally profiting by selling her story.

9. Over-collection of Sales Tax From Consumers
The firm has been lead counsel in a number of class actions challenging a seller’s over-collection of sales or use taxes. In one case, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company agreed to settle a statewide class action by providing full reimbursement of the overpaid taxes. Another case, involving Dell Inc. and the State of Washington, the firm secured a settlement resulting in the payment of over $20 million to consumers.

10. Overcharging of Premiums on Life Insurance
The firm has successfully litigated cases against Royal Maccabees Life Insurance Co. and Union Central Life Insurance Co. for overcharging small employers on group life insurance premiums for their employees.