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Joseph H. Meltzer


D   610.822.2210
F   610.667.7056

Joseph H. Meltzer leads the firm’s Fiduciary, Consumer Protection and Antitrust groups.

A pioneer in prosecuting breach of fiduciary duty cases, Joe has been lead or co-lead counsel in numerous nationwide class actions brought under fiduciary laws including ERISA. Joe represents institutional investor clients in a variety of breach of fiduciary duty cases and has some of the largest settlements in fiduciary breach actions including several recoveries in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The firm also has a robust Consumer Protection department which represents individuals, businesses, and governmental entities that have sustained losses as a result of defective products or improper business practices. Kessler Topaz is highly selective in these matters – the firm litigates only complex cases that it deems suitable for judicial resolution.

In his antitrust work, Joe represents clients injured by anticompetitive and unlawful business practices, including overcharges related to prescription drugs, health care expenditures and commodities. Joe has also represented various states in pharmaceutical pricing litigation as a Special Assistant Attorney General.


Some examples of recoveries below.  Joe’s recoveries for clients and the classes they represent are in the billions.

  • In re: Loestrin Fe 24 Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2472 (D.R.I.)   Kessler Topaz represented direct purchasers in an antitrust litigation challenging the alleged unlawful delayed entry of generic versions of Loestrin 24 Fe, Minastrin 24 Fe, and Lo Loestrin Fe into the marketplace.  After several years of litigation, which included dozens of depositions, expert reports and rebuttals, two separate rounds of summary judgment, successful certification of a class, the submission of motions in limine, pre-trial memoranda, trial exhibits, and proposed trial deposition testimony, the case settled for $120 million on the eve of jury selection.

  • Vista Healthplan, Inc. v. Cephalon, Inc., No. 2:06-cv-1833 (E.D. Pa.)  Kessler Topaz represented a class of end payors in an antitrust action alleging that Defendants violated federal antitrust, consumer protection, and unjust enrichment laws by participating in an unlawful “reverse payment” scheme involving the wakefulness promoting drug Provigil.  The prosecution of claims asserted in the action spanned over 12 years, involving the retention of highly qualified experts, intensive and protracted discovery, dozens of depositions, extensive motion practice, lengthy court hearings concerning discovery, class and dispositive issues, appellate proceedings, and involvement in ancillary proceedings.  The case ultimately settled for $65.8 million on behalf of certain end payors with total recoveries exceeded $100 million.

  • In re: Flonase Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-cv-3149 (E.D. Pa.) Kessler Topaz served as a lead counsel on behalf of a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs in an antitrust action brought pursuant to Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15, alleging, among other things, that defendant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, by engaging in “sham” petitioning of a government agency. Specifically, the Direct Purchasers alleged that GSK unlawfully abused the citizen petition process contained in Section 505(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and thus delayed the introduction of less expensive generic versions of Flonase, a highly popular allergy drug, causing injury to the Direct Purchaser Class. Throughout the course of the four year litigation, Plaintiffs defeated two motions for summary judgment, succeeded in having a class certified and conducted extensive discovery. After lengthy negotiations and shortly before trial, the action settled for $150 million.

  • On behalf of the Attorneys General of Alaska, Montana and Utah, successfully prosecuted lawsuits asserting various claims arising out of the marketing, promotion and sale of certain atypical antipsychotic drugs. Millions of dollars were paid to those states in settlement of the actions.

  • Kessler Topaz represented plaintiffs in actions against depositary institutions BNY Mellon, CitiGroup, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, all of which alleged the same misconduct involving ADR conversions.  Plaintiffs alleged that the depositary institutions assigned improper conversion rates to ADR holders, resulting in dividends and cash distributions that were owed to ADR holders but were instead unlawfully retained by the depositary institutions.  Each of the three actions resulted settlements on behalf of the ADR holders:  BNY Mellon - $72.5 million; CitiGroup - $14.75 million; and JPMorgan Chase - $9.5 million.

  • Plaintiffs Reach Settlement with BNY Mellon over its Forex Practices - Launched the first class action brought on behalf of Bank of New York Mellon Corp’s (BNY Mellon) Forex (FX) trading clients. On behalf of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Pension Fund and a class of similarly situated domestic custodial clients of BNY Mellon, Plaintiffs alleged that BNY Mellon secretly assigned a spread to the FX rates in BNY Mellon’s automated “Standing Instruction” FX service. BNY Mellon determining this spread by executing its clients’ transactions at one rate and then, typically, at the end of the trading day, assigned a rate to its clients which approximated the worst possible rates of the trading day, pocketing the difference as riskless profit. This practice was undertaken by the bank despite BNY Mellon’s contractual promises that its Standing Instruction service was designed to provide “best execution,” was “free of charge” and provided the “best rates of the day.” The case asserted claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of BNY Mellon’s custodial clients and sought to recover the unlawful profits that BNY Mellon earned from its unfair and unlawful FX practices. The case was litigated in collaboration with separate cases brought by state and federal agencies. Kessler Topaz served as lead counsel and Mr. Meltzer was a member of three person executive committee overseeing the private litigation. After extensive discovery, including more than 100 depositions, over 25 million pages of fact discovery, and the submission of multiple expert reports, Plaintiffs reached a settlement with BNY Mellon of $335 million. Additionally, the settlement was administered with separate recoveries by state and federal agencies which brought the total recovery for BNY Mellon’s custodial customers to $504 million. The settlement was finally approved on September 24, 2015. In approving the settlement, Judge Lewis Kaplan praised counsel for a “wonderful job,” recognizing that they were “fought tooth and nail at every step of the road.” In further recognition of the efforts of counsel, Judge Kaplan noted that “[t]his was an outrageous wrong by the Bank of New York Mellon, and plaintiffs’ counsel deserve a world of credit for taking it on, for running the risk, for financing it and doing a great job.”

  • Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Retirement Fund v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. – Consolidated Action No. 09-cv-00686 (SAS) (S.D.N.Y.) Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of all entities that were participants in JPMorgan’s securities lending program that incurred losses on investments made by JPMorgan, in its capacity as a discretionary investment manager, in medium-term notes issue by Sigma Finance, Inc. – a now defunct structured investment vehicle. The losses of the Class were approximately $500 million. The complaint asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as common law breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence. Over the course of discovery, the parties produced and reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, took dozens of depositions (domestic and foreign) and exchanged numerous expert reports. The case settled for $150 million two days before trial was set to begin.

  • Transatlantic Holdings: Reinsurer paid $75M in binding arbitration - Arbitrator’s award of $75 million for Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiaries (TRH) in a case alleging that American International Group, Inc. (AIG) breached its fiduciary and contractual duties and committed fraud in connection with its securities lending program. Until June 2009, AIG was TRH’s majority shareholder and administered TRH’s securities lending program. Plaintiffs alleged that AIG breached its fiduciary obligations by imprudently investing the majority of the cash collateral obtained from TRH under its lending program in risky mortgage-backed securities, including Alt-A and subprime investments. Plaintiffs further alleged that AIG concealed the extent of TRH’s subprime exposure and that when the collateral pools began experiencing liquidity problems in 2007, AIG unilaterally carved TRH out of the pools so that it could provide funding to its wholly owned subsidiaries to the exclusion of TRH.


  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Antitrust Law Committee Member
  • American Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee Member
  • Class Action Preservation Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Public Justice Foundation

Community Involvement

  • American Cancer Society—Supporter
  • Southern Poverty Law Center—Supporter
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board – Senior Hearing Officer
  • University of Maryland Alumni Association
  • University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences – Board of Visitors

Speaking Engagements

Joe lectures on ERISA litigation, Fiduciary Litigation and Antitrust Litigation as well as on issues related to class certification. He is a member of the ABA’s Section Committees on Employee Benefits and Antitrust Law and has been recognized by numerous courts for his ability and expertise in these complex areas of the law.


  • Benchmark Litigation Stars, Multiple Years
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, Multiple Years


Current Cases

  • CASE CAPTION                   

    In re: Vascepa Antitrust Litigation Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER 21-cv-12061-ZNQ
    JUDGE Zahid Quraishi
    PLAINTIFFS Welfare Plan of The International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 137, 137A, 137B, 137C, 137R; Local 464A United Food and Commercial Workers Union Welfare Service Benefit Fund; Uniformed Fire Officers Association Family Protection Plan Local 854; Uniformed Fire Officers Association for Retired Fire Officers Family Protection Plan; Teamsters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity; and Board of Trustees of the Heavy and General Laborers’ Local Unions 472 and 172 of NJ Welfare Fund
    DEFENDANTS Amarin Pharma, Inc., Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited, and Amarin Corporation PLC

    Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint alleging that, having pursued and lost patent infringement litigation against would-be generic competitors as well as exhausting every regulatory means to prevent and delay the launch of generic competitors, Amarin adopted an unlawful strategy to artificially extend its monopoly for it sole product Vascepa. By locking up every viable supplier of the key ingredient needed to manufacture generic Vascepa, Amarin boxed generic manufacturers out of the market. This scheme left Amarin free to continue charging supracompetitive prices and obtain the most profit it could out of Vascepa, at the expense of the Plaintiffs and other purchasers of the drug.

  • CASE CAPTION Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington v. Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER 21-cv-15303-SRC
    JUDGE Honorable Stanley R. Chesler
    PLAINTIFF Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington
    DEFENDANTS Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC

    Kessler Topaz represents two New Jersey municipalities, the Borough of Longport and the Township of New Jersey, in a putative class action against Netflix and Hulu seeking to recover unpaid franchise fees under the Cable Television Act. Under that Act, cable television companies are required to pay New Jersey municipalities a mandatory franchise fee equal to 2% of their subscriptions in the municipality’s jurisdiction. As more and more people “cut the cord” and move from traditional cable television subscriptions to streaming services offered by companies like Netflix and Hulu, New Jersey municipalities have been deprived of the franchise fees that they have collected from traditional cable television companies and relied upon for decades.

    Plaintiffs filed their Class Action Complaint on August 13, 2021, asking the Court to order that Netflix and Hulu abide by the Cable Television Act and pay what they owe to New Jersey municipalities. On May 20, 2022, after briefing on defendants’ motions to dismiss, the District Court held that the Cable Television Act did not confer a private right of action and that only the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the “BPU”) had the right to assert such claims.  Plaintiffs have appealed the District Court’s decision to the Third Circuit. The appeal is fully briefed and awaiting a decision.

Landmark Results

  • CASE CAPTION         In re Seeligson v. Devon Energy Production Company, L.P.
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    CASE NUMBER 3:16-cv-00082
    JUDGE Honorable Ed Kinkeade
    PLAINTIFFS Henry Seeligson, John M. Seeligson, Suzanne Seeligson Nash, and Sherri Pilcher
    DEFENDANT Devon Energy Production Company, L.P.
    CLASS PERIOD January 1, 2008 through February 28, 2014

    On October 24, 2014, Plaintiffs brought this class action to recover damages for Devon Energy Production Company, L.P.’s (“DEPCO”) unlawful calculation and intentional underpayment of millions of dollars in royalties owed to Plaintiffs and other lessors for the extraction of oil and gas from their Texas properties that was moved, gathered, transported and/or processed through the Bridgeport Gas Processing Plant. Specifically, DEPCO breached its duty to market by selling the raw, unprocessed gas to its corporate affiliate, Devon Gas Services, LP (“DGS”), at the wellheads at a price impacted by an unreasonably high processing fee. DEPCO then passed this processing fee on to the royalty owners. As a result, DEPCO imposed hidden fees on Plaintiffs and Class members that were not related to actual or reasonable costs, which were pocketed by its corporate affiliate. In fact, DEPCO imposed artificially inflated fees as high as 17.5% of the price of the gas flowing through the Bridgeport Plant.

    The Parties engaged in significant discovery and Plaintiffs moved to certify the action as a class action on June 11, 2015. The Court first granted class certification on May 4, 2016, and DEPCO appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit affirmed most of the Court’s findings, including, without limitation, that (i) the Class was ascertainable, (ii) all of the class leases imposed the same duty to market on DEPCO, and (iii) Plaintiffs could demonstrate that DEPCO breached its implied duty to market by basing its price on a higher processing fee than the fee that a reasonably prudent operator would have received at the wellhead. Seeligson v. Devon Energy Prod. Co., L.P., 761 F. App’x 329, 334, 336-37 (5th Cir. 2019). But, the Fifth Circuit remanded on a narrow issue related to predominance.

    Plaintiffs moved again for class certification on May 7, 2019. On February 11, 2020, after a full-day evidentiary hearing, the Court certified a Class, including all persons or entities who, between January 1, 2008 and February 28, 2014, (i) are or were royalty owners in Texas wells producing natural gas that was processed through the Bridgeport Gas Processing Plant by DGS; (ii) received royalties from DEPCO on such gas; and (iii) had oil and gas leases on the following forms:  Producers 88-198(R) Texas Paid-Up (2/93); MEC 198 (Rev. 5/77); Producers 88 (Rev. 10-70 PAS) 310; Producers 88 Revised1-53—(With Pooling Provision); Producers 88 (2-53) With 640 Acres Pooling Provision; Producers 88 (3-54) With 640 Acres Pooling Provision; Producers 88 (4-76) Revised Paid Up with 640 Acres Pooling Provision; Producers 88 (7-69) With 640 Acres Pooling Provision; and Producers 88 (Rev. 3-42) With 40 Acres Pooling Provision (the “Class Lease Forms”). DEPCO again sought leave to appeal the class certification decision, but on May 15, 2020, the Firth Circuit denied DEPCO’s request.

    Following an October 7, 2020 mediation, the Parties reached an agreement in principle to resolve the matter on a classwide basis, and informed the Court of such in a Joint Mediation Report, filed on October 16, 2020. Under the Settlement, DEPCO was required to pay $28 million into a Settlement Fund to be distributed among eligible Class Members in accordance with a plan of allocation approved by the Court.  On December 30, 2020, Plaintiffs moved for Preliminary Approval, which the Court granted on January 14, 2021. The Court then granted final approval on June 16, 2021. Distribution of Class Notice and payment of Settlement Funds to Class Members took place in 2021.

  • CASE CAPTION         In re Ranbaxy Generic Drug Application Antitrust Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts 
    CASE NUMBER MDL No. 2878
    JUDGE Honorable Nathaniel M. Gorton
    PLAINTIFFS Meijer, Inc. and Meijer Distribution, Inc.
    DEFENDANTS Ranbaxy Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories LTD., Ranbaxy USA, Inc. and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, LTD.

    KTMC was counsel for direct purchasers alleging that generic drug manufacturer, Ranbaxy, Inc., violated the racketeering laws by recklessly submitting grossly inadequate generic drug applications to the FDA for generic versions of Nexium, Diovan and Valcyte; and intentionally deceiving the FDA into granting tentative approval to secure statutory exclusivities for each application.  These improperly obtained approvals gave Ranbaxy the power to exclude other generic manufacturers’ versions of these drugs while its own applications floundered. Had Ranbaxy not made blatant misrepresentations to the FDA, the FDA would not have granted Ranbaxy the tentative approvals and resulting exclusivities, and other companies would have entered the market with generic versions of each drug several years earlier.  As a result of Ranbaxy’s unlawful conduct, purchasers paid significantly higher prices for these drugs than they otherwise would have.

    After several years of hard-fought litigation, Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton certified three separate classes of direct purchasers of each drug and denied Ranbaxy’s motion for summary judgment.  On the eve of trial, Plaintiffs negotiated a $340 million settlement on behalf of the three classes of direct purchasers. 

  • CASE CAPTION         In re Zetia Antitrust Litigation 
    COURT United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
    CASE NUMBER 18-md-2836
    JUDGE Honorable Rebecca Beach Smith
    PLAINTIFFS Direct Purchasers
    DEFENDANTS Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Schering-Plough Corp., Schering Corp., MSP Singapore Co., LLC, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals LTD., and Glenmark Generics, Inc.

    KTMC was counsel for direct purchasers alleging that brand company Merck & Co., and generic company Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, entered into an anticompetitive pay-for-delay agreement over the drug Zetia (“ezetimibe”).  Following Glenmark’s submission of its application to the FDA for approval of a generic version of Zetia, Merck sued Glenmark alleging it had infringed Merck’s patents covering Zetia.  Glenmark was the first generic company to seek FDA approval and had secured the right to a 180-day period without competition from other generic companies.  Merck however had the right to launch its own generic version of Zetia (an “authorized generic”) during the 180-day period of Glenmark’s exclusivity.  In order to resolve its patent infringement case against Glenmark, Merck entered into an unlawful reverse payment settlement with Glenmark in 2010 to delay generic entry until 2016.  In exchange for this significant delay, Merck agreed not to launch an authorized generic to compete with Glenmark’s generic Zetia during the first 180 days Glenmark’s product was on the market.  The direct purchasers paid significantly higher prices as a result of delayed generic entry and the absence of competition from an authorized generic.

    During several years of litigation, direct purchasers achieved a number of significant victories leading up to trial.  For example, Judge Rebecca Beach Smith granted the purchasers’ motion for summary judgment as to market power and held that “Simply put, on this record, no reasonable juror could remain faithful to controlling precedent and cast the relevant market as broadly as Defendants suggest. Stretching the ambit to include non-ezetimibe drugs would blunt the procompetitive purpose of antitrust law and render the market power analysis inconsequential.” In addition, the Court denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment finding there were disputes of material fact about on several key issues in the case.  

    On the eve of jury selection, a global settlement for all plaintiff groups (including the indirect purchaser class and several large retailers) of over $600 million was negotiated.

  • CASE CAPTION         In re Zinc Antitrust Litigation 
    COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York 
    CASE NUMBER 14-cv-3728-PAE
    JUDGE Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer
    PLAINTIFFS Oklahoma Steel and Wire Co., Inc.; Iowa Steel and Wire Co.; Southwestern Wire, Inc.; and Jasper Materials, Inc.
    DEFENDANTS Glencore Ltd. and Access World LLC (f/k/a Pacorini Metals USA, LLC) 
    CLASS PERIOD September 14, 2010 through February 11, 2016

    In In re Zinc Antitrust Litigation, Plaintiffs alleged that after Glencore—one of the worlds’ largest multinational trading houses—acquired Access World, they engaged in a scheme to monopolize the market for Special High-Grade Zinc and artificially raised the price of physical zinc and related zinc premiums in the United States. Plaintiffs further alleged that Glencore and Access World engaged in anticompetitive conduct to carry out the monopolization scheme, including: (i) manipulating rules set by the London Metal Exchange—the global hub of metals trading, on which 85% of global exchange traded metals futures, including 90% of zinc, is traded, (ii) shuttling Zinc between warehouses for no reason other than to cause and exacerbate anticompetitive effects; (iii) making incentive arrangements to hoard zinc in warehouses in relatively inconvenient locations; (iv) engaging in shadow warehousing and strategically delisting warehouses to manipulate perceived supply; and (v) falsifying shipping records for zinc that never actually left warehouses. As a result, Plaintiffs paid artificially inflated price premiums. 

    Kessler Topaz’s lawsuit was consolidated with others, and on July 24, 2014, and Kessler Topaz was appointed as interim co-lead counsel on behalf of a class of direct purchasers of zinc. After successfully overcoming Defendants’ motion to dismiss in January 2016, Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint in February 2016. Defendants then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. During this time, the parties were also engaged in substantial discovery. Based on information learned from documents produced by Defendants during discovery, plaintiffs sought leave to file a third amended complaint, which was filed in January 2020. The parties engaged in settlement negotiations over the course of several months, agreeing to resolve the case for a $9,850,000 to be distributed to direct purchasers of zinc. On February 16, 2022, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer approved the settlement agreement, providing an excellent recovery for Plaintiffs and the class they were appointed to represent.