Representative cases in each of Mr. Safranski’s practice areas include:
Antitrust and Trade Regulation and Unfair Competition
Insulate SB, Inc. v. Advanced Finishing Systems, Inc., Lead counsel for fluid-handling equipment manufacturer Graco Inc. in putative nationwide antitrust class action alleging unlawful business acquisitions and boycott, exclusive-dealing, and monopolization conspiracies. We obtained the dismissal of all claims with prejudice, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31188 (D. Minn. Mar. 11, 2014), and we represented Graco in the appeal, where the judgment was affirmed. __ F.3d __, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14233 (8th Cir. Aug. 13, 2015).
In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litig., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103215 (D. Minn. Jan. 13, 2013), aff’d in part, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9412 (8th Cir. May 21, 2014): Lead counsel representing grocery wholesaler SuperValu Inc. in consolidated federal antitrust actions on behalf of putative multi-state class of grocery retailers challenging 2003 asset exchange transaction, and in a related Federal Trade Commission investigation regarding the asset exchange transaction. Obtained denial of class certification in 2012, which was affirmed on appeal. Persuaded the FTC to close the investigation without further action in March 2011.
Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 594 F. Supp. 2d 945 (N.D. Ill. 2009), aff’d, 629 F.3d 697 (7th Cir. 2011): Represented defendants UnitedHealth Group, Inc. and PacifiCare, Inc. in an antitrust lawsuit involving alleged price-fixing and fraud related to prescription drug reimbursement under the federal Medicare Part D program. Plaintiff Omnicare sought damages exceeding $1 billion and permanent injunctive relief. Obtained summary judgment, dismissing all claims, which was affirmed on appeal.
SuperValu Inc. v. Bergmann (D. Minn.); Unified Grocers, Inc. v. SuperValu Inc. (C.D. Cal.): Represented grocery wholesaler SuperValu Inc. in dispute with competitor regarding former executive’s noncompete and confidentiality agreements. Case settled in 2012.
Maritz Inc. v. Carlson Marketing Group, Inc. (N.D. Cal.): Defended Carlson Marketing Worldwide against a competitor’s tortious interference with contract action. Obtained judgment on the pleadings, dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice. 2009 WL 3561521 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 30, 2009).
False Advertising and Consumer Protection
Howerton v. Cargill, Inc. (D. Haw.): Representing Cargill, Incorporated in putative nationwide false-advertising class action concerning allegedly deceptive “natural” food labeling.
Best Buy Stores, L.P. v. Ultimate Acquisition Partners, L.P. (D. Minn.): Represented Best Buy in false advertising lawsuit against Ultimate Electronics, based on Ultimate’s “lowest prices” advertising campaign. The case resolved when Ultimate agreed to withdraw the challenged advertisements.
Cable, Telecommunications, and Media Law
Time Warner Cable, Inc. v. City of Minneapolis, 2006 WL 1579941 (D. Minn. June 2, 2006): On behalf of franchised cable television provider, obtained permanent injunction against municipal administrative proceedings seeking $100 million in penalties.
Dr. R.C. Samanta Roy Inst. of Sci. & Tech. v. Star Tribune Co., No. 05-cv-735 PAM/RLE, 2005 WL 1661514 (D. Minn. July 15, 2005): Defended television news station against defamation and civil rights conspiracy claims. Obtained dismissal of all claims.
Qwest Corp. v. Scott, 380 F.3d 367 (8th Cir. 2004): On behalf of competitive local exchange carrier, obtained reversal of permanent injunction against enforcement of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission order regulating special access services.
Complex Commercial and Business Litigation
In re SuperValu, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation: Along with co-counsel, Robins Kaplan LLP represented SuperValu Inc. in a consolidated putative class action relating to data hacking incidents in June and July 2014, and September 2014, that potentially compromised customer data collected in credit card transactions at many of SuperValu’s retail locations operating under the brand names Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Shop ‘n Save, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy. The complaint alleged claims for negligence, negligence per se, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of various state consumer protection and data breach notification laws. In January 2016, on SuperValu’s motion to dismiss, the district court concluded that the Plaintiffs could not show that harm had resulted or would likely result from the data breach. It found that allegations of increased risk of future harm, risk mitigation costs, alleged diminished value of personal information, among others, were all insufficiently concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent to establish standing under Article III. The court dismissed the action without leave to amend.
Katun Corp. v. Clarke, 484 F.3d 972 (8th Cir. 2007): Represented company in action to enforce settlement agreement and indemnification provisions under stock purchase agreement.
Innovative Medical Systems, Inc. v. Augustine Medical, 195 Fed. Appx. 532 (8th Cir. 2006): On behalf of medical device manufacturer, defended appeal from the dismissal of treble damages claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Mirant Corp. v. NRG Energy Inc. (Del. Ch.): Defended NRG Energy Inc. in a high-profile lawsuit by Mirant Corp. involving NRG’s rejection of Mirant’s $8 billion unsolicited takeover bid. The case was dismissed upon NRG’s motion.
Israel Bio-Engineering Project v. Amgen, Inc., 401 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2005): Represented plaintiff in appeal from summary judgment in patent infringement law suit.
Ecolab, Inc. v. FMC Corporation (D. Minn. 2007): Represented Ecolab, Inc. in a patent and trade secret lawsuit before Chief Judge James M. Rosenbaum. We obtained a jury verdict of patent infringement, as well as a damages verdict that FMC misappropriated Ecolab’s trade secret protocol for online processing and sanitization of poultry carcasses.
Rotary Systems, Inc. v. TomoTherapy Inc., 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1301 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2014), rev. denied (2015). Acting as appellate counsel, we obtained the reversal of summary judgment of a claim under the Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act involving a rotary union that was used in radiation-therapy systems. The Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment that the Rotary Systems design was not a trade secret, finding that genuine issues of fact required a trial on whether Rotary Systems made reasonable efforts to preserve the secrecy of its designs.
Representation of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, pro bono, in its efforts to enforce the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act and prevent the construction of a 450-foot cellular phone tower near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.