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Covington's Michael Imbroscio Named 'Litigator of the Week'

January 17, 2020

WASHINGTON—Am Law Litigation Daily has named Covington partner Michael Imbroscio, co-chair of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Tort practice, as a “Litigator of the Week.” Mr. Imbroscio led the defense of Eli Lilly and Company in litigation alleging that its medicine Cialis – as well as Pfizer’s medicine Viagra – could cause melanoma, convincing the trial court in the Northern District of California to strike Plaintiffs’ causation experts under Daubert.

Lilly and Pfizer face nearly 1,200 suits from men who claimed that taking Viagra or Cialis caused them to develop melanoma.  Working collaboratively across firms, Imbroscio and his counterparts representing Pfizer over the course of a four-day hearing systematically undermined the tenuous bases upon which Plaintiffs’ causation experts rested their opinions, leading U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg to conclude that “There simply is no interpretation by anyone other than plaintiffs experts that supports general causation.”

Mr. Imbroscio told The American Lawyer, “In the end, we were able to demonstrate that what those experts were trying to do here—support a causation opinion based on the existing science—was something that literally no one else in the world outside of our courtroom was willing to do.  Such a lack of any acceptance in the outside scientific and regulatory communities is a classic indicator of a lack of reliability, as the court found.”

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