Pfizer Sues Employee, Alleging She Stole Covid-19 Vaccine Documents

Published 2 years ago
Pfizer logo seen on the facade of an office building in
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Pfizer is suing one of its employees after she allegedly stole thousands of the company’s files with the intent to take a job with one of its competitors, with some of the files including information about the Covid-19 vaccine.


In a complaint filed Tuesday in San Diego federal court, Pfizer alleged one of its associate directors of statistics, Chun Xiao Li, uploaded over 12,000 files to her personal devices from a company issued laptop without permission.

Pfizer said it believes Li was offered a job at one of its competitors—Xencor Inc., a biopharmaceutical company.


Pfizer claims Li is still in possession of a laptop containing documents “potentially related to numerous Pfizer vaccines, drugs, and other innovations,” with the complaint specifically focusing on information she allegedly has pertaining to the Covid-19 vaccine and monoclonal antibodies.

The drug company claimed Li tried to mislead it by providing a “decoy” laptop when they confronted her about the issue.

A U.S. district judge ordered a temporary block on Tuesday, halting Li from using any of Pfizer’s trade secrets, according to Reuters.

Li did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.



“Had Ms. Li left Pfizer honorably, she would not be named in this Complaint. But she made a different choice,” Pfizer wrote.


Pfizer noted in the complaint that competitors have been trying “relentlessly” to recruit its employees, particularly in 2021.


On Monday, the company announced its Covid-19 vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy in adolescents ages 12-15. It plans to submit the vaccine for full regulatory approval in the age group in the U.S. and internationally.

By Mason Bissada, Forbes Staff