Covington has a leading national practice in assisting policyholders to obtain insurance coverage for pharmaceutical and medical-device liabilities.  In both pharmaceutical and device matters, our insurance lawyers call upon the collective experience of the firm’s pre-eminent international life sciences regulatory practice.

Our coverage work in the field of pharmaceutical and medical device liabilities is extensive.  We have been heavily involved in seeking insurance coverage for pharmaceutical product liabilities, beginning with our pioneering work in the DES coverage cases and continuing up to the present with our efforts to secure coverage for liabilities arising from emerging pharmaceutical litigation.

Our insurance lawyers prosecuted Dow Corning’s insurance claims for breast implant liabilities.  Through litigation culminating in a successful jury verdict and through settlement negotiations, our efforts made available in excess of $1.5 billion in insurance coverage for Dow Corning.  In addition, we have represented other clients in pursuing insurance coverage for liabilities arising out of other implantable medical devices.

Outside the litigation context, our insurance lawyers also guide clients through the maze of new insurance products designed to provide coverage for the specific needs of the life sciences industry.  These include Bermuda forms providing coverage for mass tort liabilities.  For example, we have advised numerous clients in connection with the purchase of insurance through the Bermuda and European markets and the negotiation and arbitration of disputes involving those policies.  In particular, we have analyzed the provisions in those policies affecting pharmaceutical and medical-device claims and other mass tort liabilities.  We have advised numerous clients involved in manufacturing pharmaceuticals and medical devices and in conducting clinical trials on obtaining coverage and pursuing claims under specialty policies including clinical trials coverages, medical device policies, and products liability policies designed for life sciences companies.  Through these counseling services, we try to head off coverage disputes before they arise – and often before a policy is even purchased.

Representative Matters

  • We represent Merck & Co. in pending arbitrations in London concerning coverage for Vioxx-related claims.
  • We represented GlaxoSmithKline in coverage litigation involving DES claims in Pennsylvania federal court.
  • We represented Cardinal/Allegiance in an international arbitration involving coverage for mass tort claims.
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