As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Financial Services practice, Mr. Morris’ extensive experience covers the full range of client claims, including discrimination, wage and hour / unpaid wages, whistleblower / qui tam, and financial malfeasance claims.
During my entire 30-year corporate career, I can say unequivocally that Grant Morris is the most talented and gifted lawyer with whom I have ever worked. The result was extraordinary. Sam Cox, Smith & Nephew Qui Tam Client
Prior to working with Sanford Heisler, Mr. Morris served as Senior Counsel for First American Bankshares in Washington, DC. Mr. Morris has also worked in the Office of General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Systematic Division, and in the Office of General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board Appellate Court Branch, both in Washington, DC. Additionally, Mr. Morris clerked for Justice John D. Butzner at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Morris served as lead counsel in more than 30 class actions involving discrimination and wage and hour claims. Mr. Morris originated and was co-lead counsel on one of the largest class action age discrimination cases in US history, which settled for $58.5 million. In Velez v. Novartis Pharms. Corp. Grant won a $250 million award, the largest recovery in US history. He also a secured $99 million settlement on behalf of the class in one of the largest wage and hour settlements in US history (In re Novartis Wage & Hour Litigation). Mr. Morris has assisted various branches of the NAACP across the country, including its national office, in reviewing and litigating discrimination complaints.
Mr. Morris was previously given the Outstanding Litigator Award by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He graduated from George Washington University in 1968 with an academic scholarship and high honors. Mr. Morris also graduated first in his class with a graduate teaching fellowship from the MBA program at George Washington University in 1970. He graduated from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University in 1973 with honors and an academic scholarship. He was a member of the law review and published two law review articles.
- J.D., Catholic University Columbus School of Law, 1973
- Member, Law Review
- M.B.A., George Washington University with distinction, 1970
- Outstanding Student Award
- Graduate Fellowship
- B.A., George Washington University honors, 1968
- Judge John D. Butzner, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- District of Columbia, 1979
- Virginia, 1979
Novartis Pharmaceutical Gender Discrimination Class Action – $253 Million Jury Verdict; $175 Million Settlement
In the largest gender discrimination case to ever go to trial, Sanford Heisler successfully represented a class of 5,600 female sales representatives of Novartis Pharmaceutical Company in their gender pay and promotion and pregnancy discrimination claims. A unanimous decision by a jury of nine found Novartis liable for gender discrimination in pay and promotion and pregnancy-related matters and awarded 12 former Novartis sales reps $3.36 million in compensatory damages and the class of 5,600 women an additional $250 million in punitive damages In addition, the verdict from the jury meant that the remaining 5,600 women in the class were also entitled to additional awards of backpay and to seek compensatory damage awards up to $300,000 each. The verdict and the resulting monetary awards was the largest ever in the U.S in an employment discrimination case.
In 2012, Sanford Heisler reached a $99 million settlement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (”Novartis”) to resolve a nationwide class and collective action brought on behalf of thousands of Novartis sales representatives. The settlement ranks among the largest wage and hour settlements.
Sanford Heisler, LLP won a $11.3 million qui tam settlement against Smith & Nephew one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
Sanford Heisler, LLP won a more than $4.4 million qui tam settlement against Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Medtronic violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
Sanford Heisler, LLP brought a whistleblower/qui tam matter against AtriCure, Inc, (“AtriCure”), a medical device manufacturer. Subsequently, AtriCure agreed to pay $4.15 million to resolve all claims against it. The Complaint charged that AtriCure violated the Federal False Claims Act by using illegal kickbacks and an off-label marketing campaign to induce doctors and hospitals to perform AtriCure’s costly inpatient cardiac surgical ablation procedures rather than standard, and more effective outpatient catheter ablation procedures. As a result, the Medicare program faced substantial increased costs from AtriCure’s unnecessary and expensive procedures.
Sanford Heisler, LLP, along with Aashish Y. Desai of the Desai Law Firm, P.C., represented Relator Monique Gipson, who sued San Diego-based Pathway Genomics in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California under the whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the relevant provisions of the false claims acts of the states and the District of Columbia pertaining to healthcare fraud. Gipson was a former sales representative at Pathway Genomics with first-hand knowledge of the company’s wrongdoing.
The settlement resolved allegations that Estech marketed its medical devices to treat atrial fibrillation, a use not approved by the FDA. Allegations also involved Estech’s promoting of expensive heart surgeries using the company’s devices when less invasive alternatives were appropriate; advising hospitals to up-code surgical procedures using the company’s devices to inflate Medicare reimbursements; and paying of kickbacks to healthcare providers to use its devices.
The company categorized these workers as salaried managerial employees but failed to pay them on a true salary basis. If the employees failed to work a particular number of hours per week, City Gear did not pay them their full salaries; instead, the company took pay deductions premised on an hourly rate of pay. The employees alleged that the company could not have it both ways and must pay them for their overtime. The case settled on a class basis in 2014.