Class Action Suit Over Potential Cancer Vaccine Settles For 1.25 Million


by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

In July 2013 a class action was filed against biotechnology company Biovest International, Inc. (Hill v. Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. et al.).  The lawsuit emanated from alleged false and misleading statements made by defendant, relative to the success of a developmental vaccine to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the likelihood of FDA approval.

The Complaint alleged that the FDA informed Biovest that the results of their Phase III clinical trials for their Biovax vaccine, did not support the application for FDA approval.  Further that the defendant, in violation of federal security laws, allegedly made numerous false and misleading statements in press releases and in securities filings leading investors to believe that the vaccine was on track  for FDA approval.  The class pertained to those people who bought common stock in the company during the period beginning July 26, 2008 and ending August 14, 2012.

Biovest has denied any wrongdoing or impropriety and has agreed to settle the case for 1.25 million dollars.  Although the settlement money may cover any alleged financial loss to shareholders, it does not redress the non-tangible damage of false hope created in countless cancer patients that would have benefited from such a successful cancer vaccine.  If the case continued and all the allegations against defendant were proven true, punitive damages may have been awarded.  Accordingly, perhaps a settlement was not the most equitable result in this case.  In the end this reminds us of law school’s lesson number one, which is that the law does not necessarily equal that which is fair.

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. 

Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1987, with a major in political science and a double minor in socio-legal studies and moral-legal issues in philosophy. Mr. Lauto received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to practice in the courts of New York State, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States District Court.

Mr. Lauto has primarily focused on personal injury throughout his career and previously worked as in-house counsel to a major insurance company. In 2002 Mr. Lauto established Paul A. Lauto, PLLC, with a primary concentration on personal injury, all types of accident cases, Wills, Trusts and Estates and more. Paul is the sole author of his Scales of Justice blog, which provides updates and information about current legal stories in the news and how they may affect our lives. Mr. Lauto prides himself on providing clients maximum results, with a high level of personal attorney service and attention that is uncommon in the profession. For more information please visit