Trial Team Wins Bet-the-Company Verdict for Clinical Trial Firm


October 7, 2014

The Segal McCambridge team of Jeff Singer (Shareholder, Chicago), Brian Eldridge (Shareholder, Chicago) and Adam Jagadich (Shareholder, Chicago) successfully defended their client, Clinical Supplies Management, Inc. (CSM) in a two-week fraud and breach-of-contract trial.

The plaintiff, Merix Pharmaceutical Corporation, accused CSM of botching a clinical trial involving a cold-sore treatment that Merix was marketing. The product, Releev  1-Day Cold Sore Symptom Treatment, was in direct competition with GlaxoSmithKline’s similar treatment, Abreva. GlaxoSmithKline sued Merix for making false claims about its product in 2005, so Merix ordered a clinical trial to attempt to substantiate the safety and effectiveness of its product. 

The design of the clinical trial involved the comparison of the actual Releev product against a placebo.   CSM was hired to package and label the products used in the clinical trial in accordance with a randomization schedule and then ship the products to various clinical trial sites throughout the country. After the trial data was compiled, it was discovered that both the placebo and the actual drug contained the active ingredient in Releev. As a result, Merix was unable to use the clinical test results in its trial against GSK and had to run a substitute clinical trial.

Merix sued CSM for $900,000 to cover the cost of the initial clinical trial, plus more than $3 million in legal fees and expenses Merix incurred in continuing to defend the case against GlaxoSmithKline while it awaited completion of the substitute clinical trial. 

Mr. Singer, Mr. Eldridge and Mr. Jagadich presented evidence that CSM complied with its own policies as well as all applicable federal regulations, as CSM’s duty was only to package and distribute the products used in the clinical trial, not to manufacture them. CSM also presented evidence that Merix’s President and CEO had mistakenly approved a protocol for the clinical trial that called for Releev’s active ingredient to be included in both the drug and the placebo.

“Our trial team knew that the outcome of this case affected the future of this company and its loyal, dedicated employees,” Mr. Singer stated for an article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin about the trial.

A federal jury rejected the fraud and breach of contract claims and U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly entered the judgment in favor of CSM based on the jury’s verdict.

Mr. Singer has spent his entire professional life as a courtroom attorney and has tried more than 60 jury trials to verdict. He has over 20 years of experience serving as National Coordinating and Trial Counsel for a wide array of manufacturers, requiring him to try numerous complex cases in state and Federal courts throughout the United States.

Mr. Eldridge has a wide range of experience successfully litigating multi-million dollar, high-stakes cases on behalf of his clients. Within the commercial litigation context, Mr. Eldridge has successfully litigated cases involving breach of contract and allegations of fraud and bad faith. He has also served as national counsel defending clients sued in consumer class action lawsuits under federal statutes.

Mr. Jagadich has considerable experience defending lawsuits involving automotive design and manufacturing defect claims, hazardous and toxic substances, medical devices, and general premises and product liability issues. Mr. Jagadich has served as local counsel for several companies involved in mass tort litigation, including asbestos and benzene exposure claims, and is well-versed in the medical and scientific issues specific to such practice areas.