We are very pleased that San Francisco Partner Megan Jones has been nominated for Litigator of the Year. GCR describes the ultimate winner of this category as "a competition litigator whose superior technical skill, practical judgement and excellence in serving clients in court in 2020 demonstrate that he or she is among the very best in the field." GCR highlights:
Litigator of the Year Nominee: Megan Jones
Hausfeld partner Megan Jones led the team working on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, which resulted in a $2.67 billion settlement in 2020. Jones was counsel to the subscriber plaintiffs who alleged Blue Cross Blue Shield entities, a federation of private health insurance companies, divided the geographic market to avoid competing with each other. Jones worked on the case for eight years, which involved an extensive discovery process, creating an evidentiary record from 75 million pages and over 100 depositions. Jones was also recently appointed as co-lead counsel in the Diisocyanates Antitrust Litigation and as sole lead counsel in the Local Television Advertising Antitrust Litigation.
The firm has also been honored as nominee in the category of Litigation of the Year: Cartel Prosecution for its work on In re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation (MDL 2406, N.D. Alabama), which has recently resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement for the proposed class of insurance subscribers, after years of hard-fought litigation. The ultimate winner in this category is described as "creative, strategic and innovative litigation on behalf of plaintiffs in a private action for cartel damages." GCR highlights:
Litigation of the Year - Cartel Prosecution Nominee: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation
After about eight years of multi-district litigation, including 150 depositions and five years of mediation, a proposed class of subscribers secured a $2.67 billion settlement in the Blue Cross Blue Shield antitrust litigation. The class claimed that Blue Cross Blue Shield, which consists of independent health insurers, carved out geographic markets to avoid having those insurers compete with one another. The class alleged that this scheme led to increased healthcare premiums. In addition to the multibillion-dollar payment, the settlement proposed systemic injunctive relief that will change the landscape for competition in healthcare and allow the “Blues” to compete more rigorously. The settlement is noteworthy not only for its dollar value but also because it stemmed from an independent investigation and did not follow any government action. Judge R. David Proctor of the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama preliminarily approved the deal on 30 November 2020. The case began in 2012, when nine different antitrust actions were consolidated before the Alabama federal court. Judge Proctor in April 2018 granted partial summary judgment to the plaintiffs, ruling that BCBS’s alleged conduct should be analysed under the per se standard for horizontal restraints of trade.