Donna M. Evans is of counsel at Cohen Milstein and a member of the Antitrust practice.
Ms. Evans' practice spans thirty years as a trial lawyer in civil cases and includes many years as a litigation partner at large global firms. Ms. Evans is an accomplished trial lawyer and has tried numerous cases to verdict, including obtaining, as part of a trial team, one of the largest plaintiff jury verdicts in Massachusetts Superior Court.
Ms. Evans’ experience includes pharmaceutical litigation in which she has represented plaintiffs in antitrust class actions; prescription drug manufacturers; biomedical device companies and inventors; private medical consulting services; and global pharmaceutical companies. For nearly a decade, Ms. Evans has focused on cutting-edge pay-for-delay pharmaceutical antitrust litigation, which addresses collusive, non-competition agreements between brand and generic drug manufacturers in order to delay entry of lower-priced generic drug products. Ms. Evans was part of the trial team in In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, the first pharmaceutical antitrust case to go to trial following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013). She is also involved in the litigation of generic drug price-fixing cases, which come on the heels of a government investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging similar conduct, which, while ongoing, has already resulted in indictments and guilty pleas.
Ms. Evans currently serves as a member of Cohen Milstein’s Professional Development Mentoring Committee and co-led the firm’s two-day young associate training program in 2017 and 2019.
Among other honors, since 2019, Ms. Evans has been annually selected for Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” list. Ms. Evans has also been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer numerous times, and served on the Hon. Nancy Gertner’s Equality Commission and the Corporate Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Institute, advising women-owned businesses.
Ms. Evans’ successfully concluded matters include:
- In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein served as Co-Lead Counsel for the End-Payor Class in a suit alleging that Endo and Teikoku, manufacturers of the Lidoderm patch, paid Watson Pharmaceuticals to delay its generic launch. The case settled on the eve of trial and on September 20, 2018, Plaintiffs obtained final approval of a $104.75 million settlement – more than 40% of Plaintiffs’ best-case damages estimate. This case was ranked by Law360 as “The Biggest Competition Cases Of 2017 So Far” (July 7, 2017).
- In re Loestrin Antitrust Litigation (D.R.I.): Cohen Milstein served as Co-Lead Counsel for the End-Payor Plaintiffs in a case alleging that Warner Chilcott PLC entered into agreements to delay the introduction of a generic version of the contraceptive drug Loestrin and thereafter engaged in a “product hop” to further impede generic entry. The case settled on the last business before trial for $63.5 million – representing one of the largest settlements in a federal generic suppression case in over a decade. On September 1, 2020, the settlements received final approval.
- In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.): Cohen Milstein served as a member of the executive committee and Ms. Evans played a significant role in discovery on behalf of the End-Payor Plaintiffs. The case, which settled mid-trial, resulted in a $43 million recovery for the Class.
Ms. Evans is currently representing End-Payor Plaintiffs in the following pay-for-delay pharmaceutical antitrust cases in which Cohen Milstein serves as Co-Lead Counsel:
- In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J.): Plaintiffs allege that Pfizer, the manufacturer of the cholesterol drug Lipitor, the best-selling drug in pharmaceutical history, conspired with Ranbaxy, the generic manufacturer, to delay its introduction of a generic Lipitor product. On August 21, 2017, the Third Circuit handed a sweeping victory to Plaintiffs, reviving their antitrust claims. This case was ranked by Law360 as “The Biggest Competition Cases Of 2017 So Far” (July 7, 2017).
- In re Tracleer Antitrust Litigation (D. Md.): Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Actelion engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to withhold samples of its life-saving pulmonary arterial hypertension medication from would-be rivals, under the guise of the REMs program, which conduct ultimately delayed generic competition.
- In re Bystolic Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Plaintiffs allege that Forest Laboratories Inc., now a part of AbbVie, engaged in an illegal scheme with pharmaceutical generic manufacturers not to make generic versions of Bystolic®, a hypertension prescription medication containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient nebivolol hydrochloride.
- In re Zytiga Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J.): Plaintiffs allege that Janssen Biotech and BTG International Limited engaged in sham litigation, thereby delaying generic manufacturers from entering the market with competing generic versions of Zytiga for more than year.
Ms. Evans is also currently involved in pay-for delay cases in which Cohen Milstein plays a significant role, including: In re Niaspan Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.), In re Suboxone Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.), In re ACTOS Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.) and In re Zytiga Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J).
In addition, Ms. Evans is involved in cases on behalf of direct purchaser plaintiffs, including: In re Zetia Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Va.), In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.), In re Sensipar (Cinacalcet Hydrochloride Tablets) Antitrust Litigation (D. Del.), In re Intuniv Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.) and In re Ranbaxy Fraud Antitrust Litigation (D. Mass.).
Ms. Evans also maintains an active pro bono practice. High-profile matters include:
- Amici Curiae Counsel for Law Enforcement Officers (U.S. Crt. of Appeals, First Circ.): On March 21, 2023, Cohen Milstein filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of senior law enforcement officers in support of the United States of Mexico, plaintiff-appellant, before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Amici argue for the reversal of the district court’s grant of defendants’ motion to dismiss in Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., et al. (D. Mass.), a landmark case brought by Mexico against U.S.-based gun manufacturers and a gun wholesaler for allegedly maintaining business practices that enable and allow for military-grade and other deadly guns to flow from the U.S. across the border “into criminal hands in Mexico." Mexico contends that this conduct violates state tort law and consumer protection statutes.
Throughout her career, Ms. Evans has been deeply involved in the issue of equality. She served on the Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner’s Equality Commission, the Boston Bar Association’s Diversity and Attorney Attrition Standing Committee, and the BBA’s Task Force on Professional Challenges and Family Needs. Ms. Evans participated in writing a ground-breaking BBA report addressing the costs of attorney attrition, Facing the Grail: Confronting the Cost of Work-Family Imbalance, as well as implementing the report’s recommendations in Boston law firms. Ms. Evans has also served on the Board of Directors of Greater Boston Legal Services and has been active in pro bono representation, including fair housing issues.
Ms. Evans graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English and Political Science, and an M.A. in English. She received a J.D., cum laude, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she served as a Note and Comment Editor on the Board of the North Carolina Law Review. She interned with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts during law school.
Ms. Evans has written articles on topics including the federal mail fraud statute and construction pay-when-paid contract clauses, and she authored a chapter in Inside the Minds, addressing best practices in client relationships. She taught legal writing at Boston University Law School for six years, has guest lectured at Duke University and the University of North Carolina law schools, and – prior to practicing law – she taught English at the University of North Carolina and was a Visiting Lecturer in English at North Carolina State University.