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News
July 18, 2014

In The News Today – July 18, 2014

Federal Express has been indicted by federal prosecutors for allegedly “delivering prescription pain pills, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other controlled substances for illegal Internet pharmacies.” The potential fine could be “twice the gains from the illegal product,” or as much as $820 million. FedEx vowed to fight the charges, saying that “it can’t be responsible for the contents of the 10 million packages it transports daily and that policing customers would violate their privacy.” (Business Week)

The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today have moved to intervene to unseal redacted portions of the City of Chicago’s lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over “opioid painkiller abuse.” The city said it was “redacting all references in its complaint to information the drugmakers produced during the city’s pre-filing investigation and that the defendants designated as confidential.” The city has held the confidential information relates to marketing materials, advertisements and training materials, “not trade secrets or proprietary or commercially sensitive information.” (National Law Journal)

As we reported yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board passed on seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of the Fifth Circuit ruling in the D.R. Horton case, which rejected the NRLB’s “controversial conclusion that mandatory arbitration agreements barring worker class actions violate federal labor law.” Tuesday, however, an NLRB judge, claiming that the he had to follow “NLRB precedent until it gets reversed by the Supreme Court, ruled that Fuji Food Products, Inc. “violated federal labor law by seeking to compel individual arbitration of an ex-employee’s proposed class action.” (Law360)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled against “consulting the Louisiana Supreme Court on whether brand-name drugmakers can face liability for generic versions of their products” in Louisiana. Brand-name defendants Schwarz Pharma Inc., Pfizer Inc.’s Wyeth, LLC, and Alaven Pharmaceuticals, LLC said Louisiana products liability law barred claims against them because the plaintiff never ingested Reglan, only generic metoclopramide. The Fifth Circuit held that, to the extent that the plaintiff’s “complaint can be construed as bringing claims against brand defendants under the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA), these claims fail because ‘recovery is not available under LPLA against a manufacturer if the manufacturer did not produce the offending product.'” (National Law Journal)

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