In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Litigation, 05-MD-1720 (JG)(JO): Reached a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement on behalf of a class of approximately seven million U.S. merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards and debit cards for the purchase of goods and services. The defendants included Visa and MasterCard, and major card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Capital One. The settlement, which would have resolved the lawsuit, is believed to be the largest settlement of a private antitrust case in the 120-year history of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §1 et seq.) and also included important reforms of the payment card industry. The settlement was granted final approval in the District Court on December 13, 2013 over the objections of several class members. Some of those objectors appealed from the final approval order, and on June 30, 2016 a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and vacated the District Court’s order, and remanded the case to the District Court “for further proceedings not inconsistent with” the Court of Appeals’ opinion.
Minnesota Tobacco Litigation: In May 1998, we reached an historic settlement in the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s lawsuit against the major cigarette manufacturers after 15 weeks of trial. The case was settled for $6.13 billion on behalf of the State of Minnesota and $469 million on behalf of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The discovery obtained by our firm was used by other states, private litigants and foreign countries.
In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation: Over $1.2 billion in settlements for an alleged global conspiracy to fix surcharges for air cargo shipping services. Defendants in the decade-long litigation included many of the world’s largest airlines.
In re Lorazepam and Clorazepate Antitrust Litigation: Representation of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Federated Mutual Insurance Company in litigation before the federal District Court in the District of Columbia involving claims of state antitrust law violations regarding competitors' access to raw materials for Lorazepam and Clorazepate. The jury's verdict found that Mylan Laboratories Inc. /Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cambrex Corporation, and Gyma Laboratories violated state antitrust laws and had restrained trade and acted willfully in excluding generic competitors' access. In post-trial motions, the District Court awarded Plaintiffs treble damages, for a total award to all plaintiffs of $76.8 million. The case has been remanded to the district court for further proceedings following the D.C. Circuit opinion of January 18, 2011.
Vitamins Antitrust Litigation: Represented large agribusiness clients who were opt-out plaintiffs in In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1285 (D.D.C.). The Vitamins litigation arose out of a decade-long price-fixing cartel of the major international vitamin manufacturers, and involved vigorously contested disputes regarding jurisdiction, foreign discovery, conspiracy, damages and expert issues. Clients included Land O' Lakes, Inc., Hormel Foods Corporation, CHS Co-Operatives, Gold'n Plump Poultry, and other large vitamin purchasers. The cases settled after discovery was complete, but before trial, for in excess of $250,000,000.
Methionine Antitrust Litigation: In In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1311, (N.D. Cal.), represented many of the same large agribusiness clients as in In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation. Involved a challenge to international price-fixing cartel. Settled for $35,000,000.
Represented Best Buy in multidistrict litigation over alleged price-fixing in the market for cathode ray tubes in televisions. The claims resulted in confidential settlements with several large electronics manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, and Toshiba.
Recovered almost $400 million in damages in price fixing litigation against cartel of LCD panel manufacturers.
Anastasio, et al v. Total Gas & Power North America, Inc.: Appointed co-lead class counsel on behalf of a class of persons who purchased or sold, from June 2009 to June 2012, physical over-the-counter natural gas contracts or natural gas financial contracts (such as natural gas futures, options, swaps and other derivative instruments) alleging that one of the world’s largest natural gas exploration, production, refinement, marketing, shipping and trading companies illegally manipulated the physical and financial natural gas market in the United States. The class alleges that Defendants’ scheme (intentionally engaging in, and reporting, non-economic transactions in the physical natural gas market) was designed to move indexed natural gas market prices in a way that financially benefited Defendants’ related financial positions.
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., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4584 (D. Minn. Jan. 13, 2013): 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. Obtained dismissal of several class representatives in favor of arbitration in 2011 (appeal pending), denial of class certification in 2012, and summary judgment dismissing all remaining claims in 2013.
Digital Sun v. The Toro Company: Obtained summary dismissal of complaint asserted against The Toro Company, alleging violations of the federal antitrust laws (Sherman and Clayton Acts), as well as California unfair business practices and common law fraud. The complaint involved smart sprinkler technology, and arose out of Toro's consideration of a potential business relationship with the named plaintiff regarding that technology, including the licensing of certain intellectual property related to that technology. The issues presented in the motion to dismiss included the plausibility of the allegations under the standard set forth in the Supreme Court's decision in Twombly, as well as the intersection between the antitrust and patent laws. The dismissal briefing focused on key points in the related documentation and dealings that confirmed the business reality existing between the parties, thereby overcoming an otherwise complex set of allegations presented in the complaint. The matter settled shortly after the summary dismissal.
Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc.: 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. After summary judgment motion was argued in August 2008, the U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to defendants on all claims in January 2009. Published decision: Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 594 F. Supp. 2d 945 (N.D. Ill. 2009). Summary judgment was subsequently affirmed. Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 629 F.3d 697 (7th Cir. 2011).
Augustine Medical, Inc. v. Tyco et al.: Antitrust counterclaim to a patent infringement suit dismissed on summary judgment.
PSI Repair Services, Inc. v. Honeywell Inc.: Defended manufacturer of industrial control systems against allegations of antitrust trying with regard to replacement parts and repair service.
Aguilar v. Unocal: Price-fixing class action against gasoline manufacturer dismissed on appeal.
Raymond v. MediaOne: Dismissal of antitrust tying and unfair competition class action against cable television provider.
Federal Trade Commission: In the matter of Union Oil Company of California. In defense of Section 5 antitrust allegations brought against Unocal based on reformulated gasoline patents. Initial decision granted November 25, 2003 in favor of Unocal.
Bristol Hotel v. Aetna et al.: Dismissal of RICO class action brought in Miami, Florida against workers compensation insurers.
Total TV v. Palmer Communications: Defense of predatory pricing case.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant client on various antitrust and common law claims involving the snowmobile racing industry.