Trade Secret Theft Alleged in Lawsuit; Express Scripts Says Accounting Firm Ernst & Young Took Proprietary Data; BUSINESS

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Express Scripts has sued the accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP and one of its partners for the alleged theft of trade secrets and misappropriation of the pharmacy benefit manager's confidential and proprietary data.

The Express Scripts Holding Co., which is based in north St. Louis County, said in a complaint filed in state court in Clayton that it learned last year that accounting firm partner Don Gravlin had been "sneaking" into its headquarters and emailing documents to a private Google account via the account of an Ernst & Young consultant.

"E&Y and Gravlin were possessed with an evil motive," the benefits manager said in its complaint filed on Thursday. The company is seeking punitive damages to deter future similar conduct by Ernst & Young and other accounting firms.

The accountants allegedly took the equivalent of more than 20,000 pages of data, including pricing information, business strategy, projections and "performance metrics" documents, to aid development of Ernst & Young's own health care business segment, which includes Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions Inc., which it acquired last year, as well as some of their competitors. …