Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Public Benefits
Mississippi v. Walgreen Co.
This matter stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the State of Mississippi against the defendant pharmacies. The State alleged deceptive trade practices and fraudulent reporting of inflated “usual and customary” prices in the defendant’s reimbursement requests to the Mississippi Department of Medicaid. The State argued that Walgreens, CVS, and Fred’s pharmacies purposefully misrepresented these prices to obtain higher prescription drug reimbursements from the State. Finding that the circuit court was better equipped to preside over this action, the DeSoto County Chancery Court transferred the matter to the DeSoto County Circuit Court in response to the defendants’ request. Aggrieved, the State timely filed an interlocutory appeal disputing the chancellor’s decision to transfer the case. After a thorough review of the parties’ positions, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that though the chancery court properly could have retained the action, the chancellor correctly used his discretion to transfer the case, allowing the issues to proceed in front of a circuit-court jury. As a result, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancellor’s decision. View "Mississippi v. Walgreen Co." on Justia Law
Pyramid Life Ins. Co. v. Parsons
Holline and William Parsons (Plaintiffs) were enrolled in Today's Option, a Medicare Advantage Plan sponsored by the Pyramid Life Insurance Company (Pyramid). After Plaintiffs were each disenrolled from their respective plans, they brought suit against Pyramid, asserting numerous state law claims. The circuit court granted Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in part declaring that the Medicare Act did not provide the exclusive remedy for Plaintiffs' claims in this case. Pyramid then moved for Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(b) certification and a stay pending appeal, requesting permission to file an interlocutory appeal on the issues of whether Plaintiffs' state-law claims arose under the Medicare Act and whether their claims, to the extent they did not arise under the Act, were expressly preempted by the Act. The circuit court certified this appeal pursuant to Rule 54(b). The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without prejudice, holding that the finding supporting Rule 54(b) certification was in error. View "Pyramid Life Ins. Co. v. Parsons" on Justia Law
Posted in: Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Contracts, Insurance Law, Public Benefits
State v. Abbott Labs.
The State brought a civil action against Pharmacia Corporation, alleging that the company reported inflated drug prices to Wisconsin Medicaid. A jury found Pharmacia liable for violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and the Medicaid fraud statute. The jury awarded the State $2 million for the DTPA claim and $7 million for the Medicaid fraud claim. The jury also determined that Pharmacia committed 1,440,000 separate violations of the Medicaid fraud statute. In post-trial proceedings, the circuit court reduced the number of violations to 4,578. Both parties appealed. The court of appeals certified three issues to the Supreme Court. The Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment on the issues and remanded to the court of appeals, holding (1) the State was entitled to a jury trial on its Medicaid fraud claim; (2) the jury did not impermissibly speculate in determining the damage award; and (3) the circuit court properly reduced the number of violations found by the jury.View "State v. Abbott Labs." on Justia Law
Posted in: Antitrust, Public Benefits