On July 28, 2020, the Third Circuit in In re Suboxone (Buprenorphine Hydrochloride & Nalaxone) Antitrust Litigation, affirmed certification of a direct purchaser class, concluding that common evidence existed to prove the plaintiffs’ antitrust theory and resulting injury and that the proposed class representative, Burlington Drug Company, Inc., was an adequate class representative. The direct-purchaser plaintiffs alleged that the defendant drug manufacturer of the opioid-treatment drug, Suboxone, engaged in anticompetitive conduct that impeded the entry of generic versions of the drug into the market. Specifically, plaintiffs asserted that defendant “shifted the market” from Suboxone tablets to Suboxone film by the time generic tablets entered the market, thereby maintaining a monopoly and suppressing competition. According to plaintiffs, the defendant’s transition from tablets to film was coupled with six tactics to “eliminate demand for Suboxone tablets and to coerce prescribers to prefer film,” including making false statements about the safety of the tablets and withdrawing brand-name Suboxone tablets from the market. The plaintiffs argued that due to defendant’s anticompetitive conduct, they paid more for brand Suboxone products than they would have for generic tablets. The district court certified the class, and the Third Circuit granted the defendant’s petition for leave to appeal under Rule 23(f). First, the Third Circuit addressed defendant’s argument that plaintiffs did not provide...
Tagged: Class Representative
Supreme Court Limits American Pipe Tolling, Holds Tolling Does Not Apply to Successive Class Actions
The Supreme Court has acted to ensure that the class action device cannot be used to indefinitely extend the statute of limitations, holding in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh that American Pipe tolling does not apply to successive class actions. American Pipe tolling dates to 1974, when the Supreme Court held that the filing of a class action tolls the statute of limitations for absent class members who seek to intervene after the court has denied class certification. Nine years later, in Crown, Cork & Seal, the Supreme Court extended the rule to toll the statute of limitations for absent class members who choose to file their own individual actions. Resolving a split amongst the Circuits, the Supreme Court held that American Pipe tolling does not apply where class certification is denied and a class member subsequently seeks to bring a new class action after the expiration of the statute of limitations. The Court opined that the “efficiency and economy of litigation” that underpin the American Pipe rule do not support tolling for successive class actions. Rather, the Court determined, barring tolling in such situations will promote efficiency by requiring all litigants who wish to act as class representatives to come forward early on so that the Court can select the best representative among them. Moreover,...
Supreme Court Holds Unaccepted Offer of Judgment for Complete Relief to Named Plaintiff in Putative Class Action Does Not Moot Claims
The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued its ruling in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, a closely watched appeal in which the Court held that a complete offer of relief to a named plaintiff in a class action does not moot the individual’s claim. As explained by Justice Ginsburg, writing for the majority and drawing upon lessons taught to a “first-year law student,” an unaccepted settlement offer “creates no lasting right or obligation,” “has no force,” and, thus, “is a legal nullity, with no operative effect” that “does not moot a plaintiff’s case.” The Court’s opinion follows up on its 2013 decision in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, in which it assumed that an offer of complete relief, even if unaccepted, moots a plaintiff’s individual claim to the extent the plaintiff’s Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective-action allegations could not stand on their own.
Supreme Court Set to Weigh in on Whether Offer of Judgment for Complete Relief to Named Plaintiff in Putative Class Action Moots TCPA Claims
The Supreme Court of the United States has granted certiorari in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, which is positioned to resolve the circuit split as to whether an offer of judgment to the named plaintiff in a class action for the full amount of the plaintiff’s individual claim can moot claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) for that named plaintiff only and prevent the matter from proceeding to the class certification stage.