Archives: Case Updates

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Opioid Update: Sixth Circuit Stays National Dispensing Discovery—For Now

This post is brought to you thanks to the help of friend-of-the-blog Kirk Mattingly, EIC of the University of Louisville Law Journal.  Yesterday a Sixth Circuit panel (Siler, Griffin, Kethledge) stayed pharmacies’ production of national opioid dispensing data. With one exception: Ohio data that the court deemed “not so onerous” in light of an upcoming … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Briefing Begins in Interlocutory Appeal of Negotiation-Class Ruling

Several national pharmaceutical distributors and Ohio cities have filed opening briefs in their Sixth Circuit challenge to Judge Polster’s novel “negotiation class” certification order. As this blog covered back in November, the court of appeals (Guy, Griffin, Kethledge) granted interlocutory review of the negotiation procedure. According to the distributors, the class creates conflicts of interest … Continue Reading

Bells Cannot Be Un-Rung: Gerrymandering Discovery Dispute Moot, Orders Vacated

In a short per curium opinion, the Sixth Circuit held that party officials’ appeal of an order compelling document discovery was moot after the court dismissed the gerrymandering challenge under the Supreme Court’s Rucho v. Common Cause decision. In its challenge to Ohio’s redistricting, the Randolph Institute compelled discovery from GOP officials and groups for … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: MDL Defendants Return to the Sixth Circuit

After a lull in appellate proceedings, one of the nation’s most closely watched cases (non-impeachment category) has returned to the Sixth Circuit, at least temporarily. Several chain drug stores that filled opioid prescriptions have filed a mandamus petition challenging Judge Polster’s order to produce “transactional dispensing data for the entire United States” from 2006 forward. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms Sixth Circuit: Bankruptcy Stay-Relief Denials Immediately Appealable

In a unanimous decision affirming the Sixth Circuit, the Supreme Court held that creditors have 14 days to appeal a bankruptcy court’s denial of relief from the automatic stay. In one of the term’s first decisions, Justice Ginsburg’s opinion in Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC agreed with Judge Thapar’s conclusion that the denial … Continue Reading

“PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY,” Sixth Circuit reminds policyholders

Ohio law requires courts to interpret ambiguous insurance-policy language against the drafter and in favor of policyholders. But if the language is clear and unambiguous (not to mention in a bold and ALLCAPS and super-big font), then courts apply the plain and ordinary meaning. On the basis of that second rule of construction, Judge Readler, for … Continue Reading

No Valentine for “Very Busy” Cardiologist Convicted of Fraud

After examining the body of evidence presented during trial, the Sixth Circuit refused to prescribe a new healthcare-fraud trial for Dr. Anis Chalhoub. A jury convicted the London (Ky.) cardiologist under 18 U.S.C. § 1347 for billing Medicare and other insurers for unnecessarily implanted pacemakers.  Although “some of the government’s tactics here leave something to … Continue Reading

Circuit Split: University Harassment Claim Requires Further Student-on-Student Harassment

The Sixth Circuit has weighed in on an issue that has divided the circuits: to state a claim under Title IX for “student-on-student sexual harassment,” must a victim actually experience further sexual harassment after the school learns of the prior harassment? Or is it enough that the victim is vulnerable to further harassment? In Kollaritsch … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: “Negotiation Class” Under Review

On Friday, Nov. 8, a Sixth Circuit panel (Guy, Griffin, and Kethledge) granted interlocutory appeals of drug manufacturers and distributors embroiled in the Northern District of Ohio opioid MDL. The appeals, brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), oppose the district court’s certification of the novel “Negotiation Class.” Under the proposed procedure, any class … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit certifies Pennsylvania security-screening comp question

Several suits by Amazon workers seeking pay for time spent in security screening have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the Western District of Kentucky. In one of the putative state-law class actions, Pennsylvania-based workers argue that under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, Amazon owes them for the several minutes per shift they spend … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Bellwether Settlement on Eve of Trial

On the eve of trial Monday morning, plaintiffs Summit and Cuyahoga Counties struck a deal worth $260 million. This avoided the first bellwether trial in the opioid multidistrict litigation before Judge Polster. The settlement extinguishes the counties’ claims against AmerisourceBergen, Teva, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. Walgreen’s did not settle, but its trial is pushed off … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Sixth Circuit Won’t Halt Bellwether Trial (and more)

Today the Sixth Circuit issued much-anticipated rulings rejecting bids by Ohio and the industry defendants to halt the upcoming opioid MDL bellwether trial. And as noted below, in other venues the opioid litigation has seen recent notable action from another key state plaintiff and Judge Polster. Sixth Circuit denies “drastic and extraordinary” mandamus relief – … Continue Reading

Reviewing the Sixth Circuit’s Performance at the Supreme Court, OT2018 — Part One

During October Term 2018 (“OT2018”), the Supreme Court reversed less than two out of every three cases – its lowest reversal rate in three years. The Sixth Circuit fared particularly well (4 affirmances, 3 reversals), joining the Eleventh and D.C. Circuits as the only circuits to post a winning record.  Notably, the Court did not … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: More Irons in the Fire

The Sixth Circuit activity continues to escalate as the MDL bellwether trial date approaches. In just the last week, since the Court of Appeals’ rare order requesting a response to Ohio’s mandamus petition, we’ve seen: Judge Polster respond—energetically—to Ohio’s mandamus petition, one day sooner than the deadline provided in the Court of Appeal’s order; Defendant … Continue Reading

Tenn. Billboard Act Violates First Amendment, Says Sixth Circuit

In a big win for noncommercial outdoor speakers and a loss for LBJ enthusiasts, the Sixth Circuit issued a major First Amendment decision striking down Tennessee’s Billboard Regulation and Control Act. Judge Batchelder’s unanimous opinion (Donald and Cole joining) in Thomas v. Bright held that the law’s on/off-premises distinction represents an unconstitutional content-based abridgment of speech … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: 6th Circuit Orders Mandamus Response from Judge Polster, Bellwether Counties

If anyone doubted the Sixth Circuit was paying close attention to the opioid MDL, that’s been put to rest. Today, in a short order issued by Circuit Clerk Deborah S. Hunt, the Sixth Circuit requested a response to the Ohio AG’s mandamus petition, supported by many states and the U.S. Chamber, seeking to enjoin the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit’s Plain-Meaning Approach to Foreign Arbitration Discovery

Parties may now seek discovery from district courts within the Sixth Circuit for use in foreign private arbitrations. In Abdul Latif Jameel Transportation Company v. FedEx, a unanimous panel held that the plain meaning of the phrase “foreign or international tribunal” included non-governmental tribunals. The decision addresses an important foreign-discovery provision that, according to some … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: MDL Defendants Seek Judge Polster DQ

Eight drug retailers, distributors, and pharmacies (but no manufacturers) have asked Judge Dan Aaron Polster to recuse himself from presiding over most of the 2,000 pending opioid lawsuits comprising the MDL. The parties filed the motion to disqualify Judge Polster on Saturday. They claim that the Judge’s comments made during various hearings, interviews, and forums … Continue Reading

Opioid Update: Ohio Asks Sixth Circuit for Mandamus while U.S. Chamber Says Muni Suits by Plaintiffs’ Firms Could Upend Civil Litigation

As we covered in July, the country has its eyes on an Ohio opioid MDL handling more than 2,000 lawsuits brought by more than 1,200 cities, counties, and tribes against drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently filed a mandamus petition at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to enjoin District … Continue Reading

En banc watch: “Death [or at least en banc denial] by distorted originalism”

Like a Sergio Leone scene, the Sixth Circuit issued an explosive en banc denial of CIC Services LLC v. Internal Revenue Service (a case we covered back in June). As he did at the panel stage, Judge Clay defended the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, which here bars CIC Services from challenging the IRS’s categorization … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: Bank Fraud Requires … a Bank

A divided Sixth Circuit panel overturned the convictions of two alleged fraudsters because the government failed to prove that they intended to obtain property from a bank (technically, a “financial institution,” under 18 U.S.C. §1344).  Back in the heady 2000s, the defendant homebuilders in the companion cases of U.S. v. Banyan and U.S. v. Puckett … Continue Reading

Bargaining from Scratch is Alright. Sometimes.

Note — This post (plus many others) arrives thanks to the hard work of Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog intern extraordinaire Barrett Block, a rising 3L at UK Law.  In Hendrickson USA, LLC. v. National Labor Relations Board, a divided Sixth Circuit panel revisited one of the oft-litigated phrases in labor law: “bargaining from scratch.”  The … Continue Reading

July Wrap-Up: First Amendment Arrest Edition

The Sixth Circuit wrapped up July with two decisions addressing similar protest-arrest claims under the First Amendment.  But the panel opinions and outcomes looked quite different. Parma police parody: Anthony Novak was fed up with the Parma Police Department. So he created a “farcical Facebook account” (i.e., “meme” page) designed to look like the police … Continue Reading
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