Orrick Successfully Defends Boiron in False Advertising Suit

06.17.16

In a rare class action case to reach trial, Orrick has secured a defense verdict on behalf of Boiron Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of homeopathic drugs. After a weeklong trial, a federal jury in Los Angeles on June 16 rejected a false advertising class action against Boiron concerning the homeopathic flu remedy Oscillococcinum.

Filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the suit alleged that France-based Boiron had misrepresented the health benefits of Oscillococcinum in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Orrick’s team, led by Commercial Litigation partner Christina Sarchio, argued plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof, presenting key scientific evidence, such as clinical studies showing that patients who used the remedy were relieved of flu-like systems. The jury deliberated less than two hours before reaching its verdict.

“Boiron is gratified that the jury has rejected this unfounded lawsuit,” Christina said. “As we have maintained all along, the company strongly believes in both the effectiveness of homeopathy generally and its products specifically. For more than 80 years, Oscillococcinum has provided men, women and children all over the world a safe and natural relief from symptoms of the flu.”

 “The jury has soundly rejected this misguided attempt to use the courts to cast aspersions on one of the company’s most popular products, which has been trial-tested and trial-proven to work for our millions of customers,” Christina added. “Boiron has received widespread endorsements for Oscillococcinum’s positive effects from physicians and customers. The jury has validated that support.”

In addition to Christina, Orrick’s team included: partner Valerie Goo and associate Elliott Henry, with assistance from associates Raija Horstman, Amy Byrd, Amisha Patel, Kelly Cullen and Emily Luken.