Cigna Sues Former Director of Pharma Strategy over Trade Secrets


On Wednesday, Cigna Corporation and its subsidiary, Express Scripts Inc. filed suit against Arefin Kabir, who was Director of Pharma Strategy and Contracting at Express and is accused of theft of trade secrets and violation of the confidentiality agreements that he signed as an employee of Express.  The complaint was filed in the Middle District of Florida.

Express is the pharmacy benefit management subsidiary of Cigna and was formed to provide services such as claims processing, benefit design, drug-utilization review, formulary management, and cost analysis processes for Cigna’s medical, Medicaid, Medicare, and workers compensation insurance programs. The defendant, according to the complaint, signed several Confidentiality, Non-Compete, and Non-Solicitation Agreements over the course of his employment, including upon being initially hired in 2016 as well as an updated agreement in 2020. The plaintiff also explained that Kabir received shares of restricted stock pursuant to the Cigna internal incentive plan, and the terms of this stock grant agreement included that he would not disclose confidential information during or after his employment.

As a result of Kabir’s role, he had a high level of access to information include rate of payment information, rebate information, contracting information, and confidential customer data. Upon receiving notification that his work would be terminated on October 16, Kabir allegedly emailed confidential documents from his work email to his private email. Each time these emails were sent, he received a warning notice that the information could not be sent to a private email without violating the confidentiality policy; the complaint accused Kabir of overriding that warning and sending the information anyway.

The plaintiffs have filed multiple counts, including breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets under federal and state law, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract pertaining to the stock grant agreement. The plaintiffs seek disgorgement of the profits from the stock agreement, return of the proprietary data, a forensic review of the defendant’s electronic devices to ensure no further copies have been retained, punitive damages, compensatory damages, and an injunction forbidding the defendant from violating the employment agreements further. The plaintiffs are represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.