AG Brnovich Files Brief to Protect AZ Consumers from Class Action Settlement Abuse

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich, leading a bi-partisan coalition of 14 state Attorneys General from across the country, filed a brief in federal court to protect Arizona consumers from abuse in the class action settlement process.  In the Amicus Brief, Attorney General Brnovich asked the court to reject a proposed class action settlement because the vast majority of the class members receive nothing of particular value from the deal, even as the class action attorneys collect almost $3 million. 

“Consumers must be our top priority in the class action settlement process,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The proposed settlement is imbalanced, unfair, and bargains away the claims of the class members. As Attorneys General we need to ensure the financial interests of others are never placed ahead of consumers." 

The brief opposing the proposed settlement was filed in Jones v. United Healthcare, No. 15-cv-61144 (S.D. Fla.) as a “friend of the court” under Attorney General Brnovich’s statutory authority to speak on behalf of Arizonans covered by federal class action settlements.  The class action lawsuit alleged that United Healthcare improperly denied class members coverage for the ground-breaking hepatitis C treatment Harvoni.  Under the settlement, consumers lose not just the claims against United Healthcare made in the class action, but any claims relating in any way to any hepatitis C drug or the hepatitis C virus more generally.  In exchange for this sweeping release of their claims, the vast majority of the class members receive nothing of particular value.  Instead, these consumers receive only the continued opportunity to benefit from changes to the approval standards for Harvoni that United Healthcare already implemented in 2016. 

In filing today’s brief in Jones v. United Healthcare, Attorney General Brnovich emphasizes the important role Attorneys General and courts must play in advocating for consumers within class action settlements.

Arizona is taking the lead in the brief. Joining Arizona are Attorneys General from Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming.

View a copy of the Amicus Brief.