Federal Jury Says Security Firm Isn’t Liable for $60M Prescription Drug Heist

By DAVE COLLINS | April 8, 2016

A security company isn’t liable for the theft of more than $60 million worth of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s warehouse in Connecticut six years ago, a federal jury in Florida says.

Eli Lilly’s insurer, the National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, sued Tyco Integrated Systems, alleging the company failed to adequately secure a report detailing security weaknesses at the warehouse in Enfield. The insurance company said the thieves somehow obtained information from the report and used it to break into the building.

A jury in Miami reached the verdict Monday in favor of Tyco, formerly known as ADT Security Services and based in Boca Raton, Florida. Lawyers involved in the case and representatives from Tyco did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday. Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly declined to comment Tuesday, saying in a statement that it was not involved in the lawsuit.

In what authorities called the biggest heist in Connecticut history, thieves cut through the roof of Eli Lilly’s warehouse in Enfield, about 20 miles north of Hartford, in the early morning hours of March 14, 2010. They rappelled to the floor, disabled alarms, used a forklift to load pallets of antidepressants, antipsychotics and other drugs into a truck and drove off.

Stolen were thousands of boxes of Prozac, Zyprexa, Cymbalta and other pharmaceuticals. Five men, all from Florida, pleaded guilty in connection with the theft. Three of them were sentenced to prison, one got probation and another awaits sentencing.

The lawsuit said the thieves parked a tractor trailer in the only loading bay outside the view of surveillance cameras – a weakness noted in Tyco’s security report on the building. They went to a small area on the roof that also was identified in the report, where they cut a hole and rappelled down to an area in the warehouse that the Tyco report noted was not monitored by security equipment, the lawsuit said.

Under Eli Lilly’s insurance policy, the National Union Fire Insurance paid the drug company more than $42 million for loss of the drugs, damage to the property and other expenses. The insurance company’s lawsuit sought to recoup the $42 million, legal costs for the case and other expenses.

Tyco said in court documents there was no proof the thieves had information from the report. The company also said the lawsuit never said the burglars actually had confidential information about the warehouse’s alarm system or how they got it.

“We are pleased with the verdict in Tyco’s favor, but disappointed that the case had to be resolved by a two week jury trial,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “It was gratifying that the jury found there was no evidence supporting the theory put forth by the insurance company plaintiff.”

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