Cases & Deals

Merial wins affirmance of summary judgment victory in false advertising litigation

Client(s) Merial Limited

A cross-office, cross-practice Jones Day team, in conjunction with Merial Limited's Global Head of Intellectual Property, Dr. Judy Jarecki-Black, successfully defended Merial Limited at both the district court and appellate levels in a series of false advertising cases regarding Merial’s flea and tick products. The action originally involved ten suits, filed by multiple plaintiffs in nine district courts, which were subsequently consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The plaintiffs alleged that Merial, and co-defendant Bayer, made various false and misleading claims about their flea-and-tick products.

Following an unconventional case-management process, Merial and Bayer successfully moved for summary judgment. In its order granting summary judgment in Merial and Bayer’s favor, the district court found that Merial and Bayer had reliable, accurate, and complete scientific studies to back up their claims that the products disperse across the bodies of the pets after application, and had a good faith basis for making those claims.

On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a unanimous decision, affirmed the district court’s judgment in Merial and Bayer’s favor. Greg Castanias of Jones Day argued the case in the Sixth Circuit for both Merial and Bayer.

In re: Bayer Healthcare LLC And Merial Limited Flea Control Products Marketing And Sales Practices Litigation, Case No. 1:12 MD 2319 (N.D. Ohio) and Appeal No. 13-3514 (6th Cir.)