Cigna and CVS Health in court for alleged violation of non-competition rules

Cigna is suing a former executive, alleging she violated a non-compete pact, and CVS Health for poaching her.

Cigna filed a lawsuit Thursday in US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, alleging that Amy Bricker violated her employment contract, which the insurance company claims kept her from holding executive positions at rival companies, including “chief competitor” CVS Health, it said. in a complaint.

“Cigna will suffer immediate and irreparable harm if Defendant Bricker is allowed to take up her new position with CVS,” Cigna wrote in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Bricker is one of 16 Cigna employees bound by non-compete agreements among the company’s 70,000 employees. Bricker was named president of Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits management division that is part of the Cigna Evernorth subsidiary, in 2020 after joining the company a decade earlier.

This lawsuit coincides with the federal government’s attempt to ban employee noncompete provisions. This month, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a rule that could end deals that critics say stifle wages, limit innovation and discourage new business creation.

On January 23, CVS Health announced the appointment of Bricker as chief product officer for its consumer health division. She gave Cigna less than two weeks notice and her last day at Cigna is scheduled for Friday. She will be replaced by Adam Kautzner, senior vice president of supply chain, the company said earlier.

According to the lawsuit, while working at Cigna, Bricker obtained information about Evernorth’s product development plans, financial performance, business forecasts and partnerships. In a statement, Cigna wrote that the contract clause is necessary to protect trade secrets and confidential business information. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

A CVS Health spokesperson said the company is not commenting on the litigation.

Bricker was central to securing PBM Express Scripts’ contract with Centene in October over competitors including CVS Health. CVS Caremark, the company’s PBM, previously managed drug costs for Centene.

Cigna’s allegation follows a series of similar cases between healthcare employers, former employees and competitors over non-compete agreements.

Last February, Tampa, Fla.-based Physician Partners of America and its senior management agreed to pay $3.3 million to settle non-compete violation claims when they hired doctors from competitors. Two months later, Change Healthcare, a healthcare information technology company, sued the former executive for allegedly violating a non-compete contract.

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