Momenta Pharma., Inc. v. Amphastar Pharma., Inc., C.A. No. 11-11681 (D. Mass. Jan. 22, 2014) (Gorton, D.J.) [Discovery; Sanctions].
Plaintiffs Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sandoz, Inc. (collectively, “Momenta”) brought an action against Defendants Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., International Medication Systems, Ltd., Actavis, Inc., and Watson Pharma, Inc. (collectively, “Amphastar”) alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,575,886, directed toward manufacturing methods of generic enoxaparin, an anticoagulant. The District Court (Gorton, D.J.) affirmed the order of Magistrate Judge Collings granting, in part, Momenta’s motion for contempt and sanctions in the wake of discovery.
Momenta first moved for a finding of contempt and sanctions on July 9, 2012, when Amphastar—after orders from the magistrate judge on June 12 and June 27, 2012—failed to produce documents that included communications with the FDA, amendments to an Abbreviated New Drug Application (“ANDA”), and documents related to enoxaparin testing. In April 2013, Magistrate Judge Collings ordered Amphastar to make certain documents available for inspection in order to resolve the parties’ dispute over the meaning of “amendments” to the ANDA.
On July 19, 2013, the District Court (Gorton, D.J.) allowed Amphastar’s motion for summary judgment as to infringement. However, because Momenta’s motion for sanctions for noncompliance with discovery orders was pending before the magistrate judge, the Court did not enter a final judgment.
In December, Judge Collings granted Momenta’s motion for sanctions in part, and awarded Plaintiffs their expenses and legal fees pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b). However, the judge did not grant Momenta’s request to issue a recommendation for an infringement finding. Amphastar objected to the award, and the District Court reviewed the magistrate judge’s order for clear error.
The Court first found, as to the production of enoxaparin testing records, that there was no error in the sanctions imposed. In short, the Court noted that Amphastar had the documents requested but failed to produce them following the magistrate judge’s orders.
The Court grappled more with the order to produce unredacted ANDA documents. Amphastar argued that it satisfied the magistrate judge’s order by making the documents available for inspection in California. But the District Court found that sanctions were not in error because Amphastar had previously produced the ANDA documents in redacted form, so “it was no excuse” to assert that the unredacted files were available only in California.
Finally, the Court upheld the magistrate judge’s determination that defendants failed to properly produce ANDA amendments. The relevant order required Amphastar to produce complete documents as well as copies with its desired redactions. Amphastar provided only “unredacted transmittal letters” and therefore disobeyed the order. Accordingly, the Court overruled Amphastar’s objections.