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Novartis Class Awarded $250 Million in Punitive Damages
Date:5/19/2010

NEW YORK, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- After delivering a unanimous verdict against Novartis on all counts and awarding 12 former Novartis sales reps $3.36 million in compensatory damages yesterday, a New York jury today delivered a stronger dose of the same medicine.  Announcing the amount of punitive damages to be awarded, the jury determined that Novartis must pay an additional $250 million for the gender discrimination it inflicted on 5,600 working women in the class. The case was the largest gender discrimination matter ever to go to verdict in the U.S.

Monday's sweeping verdict found Novartis liable for gender discrimination in pay, promotional opportunities and pregnancy-related matters. Today's punitive damage award is meant to punish the company for its past actions and to deter it and others from continuing to discriminate against female employees in the future.

The announcement of punitive damages came after Judge McMahon instructed jurors to consider the amount of punitive damages award in light of the offensiveness of Novartis' behavior, the nature and extent of the harm done, the length of time the class endured the behavior, the extent to which Novartis knew about the discrimination and how they reacted once they were on notice and the amount needed to deter repetition of Novartis' conduct in light of Novartis' financial condition.

The women were represented in the matter by David Sanford, Steven Wittels and Katherine Kimpel in the New York and Washington, D.C. offices of Sanford, Wittels & Heisler LLP, and

SOURCE Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
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