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Docket: Consumer Litigation

Case Name: Commonwealth of Pa. v. Golden Gate Nat. Senior Care

Court: Pa. Supreme Court Docket: 16 MAP 2017

Decided: 9/25/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF), Decision (PDF) and Article

Case Result: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Commonwealth Court, which dismissed in its entirety the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s claims against 36 nursing homes and their parent companies under the state’s unfair deceptive trade practices and consumer protection law.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that: (1) the Commonwealth is a “person in interest” under the consumer protection statute who could sue for restoration of Medicaid public funds that it paid for services whose quality and type were misrepresented by Defendants; (2) the alleged fraudulent statements Defendants made in marketing materials were not puffery as a matter of law; and (3) statements about services in bills, care plans, and resident assessments were actionable under the consumer protection statute.  The Court affirmed the dismissal of the unjust enrichment claims because the complaint did not contain sufficient facts to plead the necessary piercing of the corporate veil.  The Commonwealth can now proceed to discovery and litigate the claims against the nursing homes.


Case: Charter Advanced Services v. Lange

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 8th Cir.  Docket: 17-2290

Decided: 9/7/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Opinion (PDF)

Case Result: The panel affirmed, 2 to 1, the district court decision holding that the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an "Information Service" pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, such that state regulation is preempted.


Case Name: Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir.   Docket: 17-3030

Decided: 8/22/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Decision (PDF)

Case Result:  The Seventh Circuit reversed the district court’s decision holding GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) accountable for injuries caused by taking the generic version of its drug. The court held that although GSK manufactured the brand name drug and was responsible for the label’s contents under federal law, the Food and Drug Administration would not let the company include a warning that the use of the drug had an increased risk of suicide for adults older than 24. Thus, the company could not be liable under a theory that it negligently failed to warn of known risks.


Case Name: Gish (Matter of the Estate) v. Wells Fargo Bank

Court: New Mexico State Ct., Santa Fe Cty.  Docket: D-101-PB-2015-00006

Read Amended Complaint (PDF) and Answer to Amended Complaint (PDF)

AARP Joins as Co-Counsel: 6/21/2018

Case Issue: Did Wells Fargo violate state and federal law when it originated a reverse mortgage loan that cost a borrower more than the loan for which the applicant applied and was approved; did Wells Fargo have standing to foreclose on the loan?


Case Name: Knick v. Township of Scott

Court: U.S. Supreme Court    Docket: 17-647

Filed: 6/5/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Should the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider the portion of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank that requires property owners to exhaust state court remedies to ripen federal takings claims?


Case Name: Oil States Energy Serv. v. Greene's Energy Group

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 16-712

Decided: 4/24/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Decision (PDF)

Case Result:  The Court upheld the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. 


Case Name: Ass'n for Accessible Medicines v. Frosh

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 4th Cir. Docket: 17-2166

Decided: 4/13/2018

Read Amicus Brief (PDF), Article and Opinion (PDF)

Case Result: A panel of three judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that Maryland's price gouging law violates the dormant commerce clause because it directly regulates the price of transactions that occur outside Maryland. Because the court decided the case on the dormant commerce clause claim it did not address whether the statute was also void for vagueness. The State of Maryland filed a petition for rehearing en banc on April 27, 2018.


Case Name: FTC v. Quincy Bioscience Holding Co.

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 2d Cir.   Docket: 617-3745

Filed: 3/7/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Did the trial court err in dismissing the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the N.Y. Attorney General to prevent Quincy Bioscience Holding Co., from continuing to make allegedly false and misleading claims that a dietary supplement called Prevagen is clinically proven to improve memory, despite Quincy's own research showing that Prevagen is not effective?


Case Name: Hall v. Minnesota

Court: Minn. Supreme Court    Docket: A16-0874

Decided: 3/7/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Decision

Case Result: The Supreme Court of Minnesota held that unclaimed interest-bearing property transferred to the State under the Minnesota Unclaimed Property Act effects an unconstitutional taking if the State does not compensate the property owner for any lost interest. The court rejected a takings challenge absent the property's earning of interest prior to the transfer and found the notice sufficient to provide due process. 


Case Name: PHH v. CFPB

Court: U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. Docket: 15-1177 (en banc)

Decided: 1/31/2018

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Decision (PDF)

Case Result: The structure of the CFPB, with a single director appointed to a five year term, who can be removed by the President only for cause, is not unconstitutional.


Case Name:  Runton v. Brookdale Senior Living

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. SD Fla.    Docket: 17-cv-60664-CMA

AARP Joined Case: 12/22/2017

Read Complaint (PDF)

Case Issue: Did Brookdale Senior Living violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and contractual provisions of resident agreements when it marketed and charged for services in over 120 of its Florida assisted living facilities based on individual resident assessments of needs, but then did not use the assessments in setting staffing levels or provide the level of services assessed? 


Case Name: T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Court: Supreme Ct. of Cal.    Docket: S233898

Decided: 12/21/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Could former manufacturers of name-brand drugs be liable under California law for the foreseeable consequences of their failure to update the drug's label to warn consumers of known risks when they had a duty to update the label but chose not to do so?


Case Name: McNair v. Johnson & Johnson

Court: Supreme Court of West Virginia   Docket: 17-0519

Filed: 10/30/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Does West Virginia law permit a claim of failure to warn and negligent misrepresentation against a branded drug manufacturer when the drug ingested was produced by a generic manufacturer?


Case NameCottrell v. Alcon Labs

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir.     Docket:  16-2015

Decided:  10/18/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of Plaintiff standing. 

Case Issue: Do glaucoma patients who use prescription eye drops have standing to sue pharmaceutical manufacturers for allegedly causing them economic injury by using packaging that dispenses eye drops that are too large, such that it overflows their eyes and is unavoidably wasted, in violation of state law that prohibits unfair practices. More specifically, can plaintiffs allege economic injury of paying for medication that is unavoidably wasted because the droppers deliver drops that are too large, such that they overflow the eye, where the manufacturer has discretion to set the price of the medication, state an injury in fact for purpose of Artilce III standing.


Case Name: McGraw v. Chancellor Senior Management, LTD

Court: Circuit Ct., Raleigh County, WV   Docket: 16-C-698

AARP Joined Case: 10/16/2017

Read Complaint (PDF)

Case Issue: Are Chancellor's practices of marketing certain levels of services, assessing care needs at admission, and charging fees based on those needs; but then, failing to have sufficient staff to actually meet those needs unfair or deceptive acts or practices under West Virginia's consumer protection statute?


Case Name: Amgen v. Sanofi

Court: U.S. Ct. App. Fed. Cir.  Docket: 17-1480

Decided: 10/5/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Federal Circuit vacated the district court's order enjoining the sale of a cholesterol reducing drug that had been prescribed to over 18,000 people. This reversal of the permanent injunction is the result AFL sought.


Case Name: Sandoz v. Amgen

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 15-1039

Decided: 6/5/2017 

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Article

Case Result: Consistent with our brief, a unanimous court held that under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), a generic biosimilar applicant may provide notice of commercial marketing prior to obtaining licensure from the FDA. Amgen argued that such marketing resulted in extended exclusivity for its monopoly power. The court's decision speeds up the time for generic biosimilars to enter the market, to the benefit of consumers. The court also held that the BPCIA is not enforceable by injunction under federal law, an issue that we did not address.


Case Name: U.S. ex rel. Colquitt v. Abbott Labs

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 5th Cir. Docket: 16-10814

Decided: 5/31/2017

Read Decision

Case Result: In our lawsuit, the court affirmed the district court's decision and jury verdict in favor of Abbott Labs. We represented whistleblower Kevin Colquitt in a False Claims Act challenging the off-label marketing and use of stents for purposes not approved by the FDA. 


Case Name: Impression Products v. Lexmark International

Court: U.S. Supreme Ct.  Docket: 15-1189

Decided: 5/30/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) Article, and Decision

Case Result: In a landmark decision, the Court held that while patent owners are free to set the price and negotiate contracts with purchasers, once an item is sold, a patent owner may not, by virtue of its patent, control the use or disposition of the product after ownership passes to the purchaser.


Case Name: Kindred Nursing Ctrs v. Clark

Court: U.S. Supreme Court    Docket: 16-32  

Decided: 5/15/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Kentucky Supreme Court rule requiring power of attorney (PoA) documents to specifically grant PoAs the authority to consent to arbitration. 


Case Name: McGill v. Citibank

Court: Cal. Supreme Court Docket: S224086

Decided: 4/6/2017

Read Summary, AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Court Decision (PDF)

Case Result: The court held that an arbitration agreement that waives the public's right to injunctive relief is invalid and contrary to public policy.


Case Name: Board's Investigation Regarding the Reclassification (N.J. Verizon Deregulation)

Court: N.J. Superior Ct. Docket: A-004769-14T2

Decided: 4/3/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court deferred to and affirmed the decision of the Board of Public Utilities to deregulate and reclassify four telephone services provided by Verizon as competitive.


Case Name: Wayside Church v. Van Buren County

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 6th Cir.  Docket: 15-2463, 15-2525

Decided: 3/23/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The circuit court affirmed the trial court's decision dismissing the taxpayers' claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that they must first seek relief in the state courts to recover the excess proceeds of sales of their foreclosed properties. 


Case Name: United Health Servs of Georgia v. Norton

Court: Supreme Court of Georgia Docket: S16G1143

Decided: 3/6/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court held that an arbitration agreement between a deceased nursing facility resident and the facility binds the decedent's wrongful death beneficiaries.


Case Name: Novotny v. Sacred Heart Health Services

Court: S.D. Supreme Court    Docket: 27615 (CIV 14-235), 27626 (CIV 15-167), 27631 (CIV 15-167)

Decided: 10/26/2016

Read Summary, AARP's Amicus Brief  (PDF) and Decision (PDF)

Case Result: The South Dakota Supreme Court reversed the trial court's finding and declined to recognize a crime-fraud exception to South Dakota's peer review privilege statute even in circumstances where it appears that the peer review committee engaged in fraud.


Case Name: McFarren v. Emeritus at Canton

Court: Supreme Court of Ohio   Docket: 2016-0982

Decided: 10/26/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Supreme Court of Ohio declined to review a case affecting the ability of nursing home residents to prove neglect.


Case Name: PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Court: U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir.  Docket: 15-1177

Decided: 10/11/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The CFPB structure is unconstitutional because a single head of the agency is not removable by the President except "for cause." The "for cause" requirement is therefore struck, such that the President may remove the Director for any reason. All the rules and regulations and decisions of the CFPB are otherwise valid. The interpretation given to RESPA by the Director cannot be applied to PHH until it is notified in advance of the change in interpretation. The statute of limitations for agency enforcement of violations of RESPA is three years.


Case Name: Charles v. Southern Baptist Hospital

Court: Fla. Supreme Court    Docket: SC2015-2180

Decided: 10/5/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The parties settled the matter before the Florida Supreme Court could render a decision.  


Case Name: Torres v. SGE Management  (en banc)

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 5th Cir.  Docket: 14-20128

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Decided: 9/30/2016

Case Result: In an en banc decision, the court affirmed the district court class certification decision, holding that it is not necessary to prove first-party reliance to show that an alleged pyramid scheme violates the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act thus individual issues cannot predominate to defeat class certification.


Case Name: Taylor v. Extendicare Health Facilities

Court: Supreme Ct. of Pa.   Docket: 19 WAP 2015

Decided: 9/28/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded the Federal Arbitration Act preempts the application of Rule 213 e - which permitted an arbitrable survival claim and non-arbitrable wrongful death claim to be consolidated for trial - and requires arbitation of the survival claim against the nursing facility. The court reversed and remanded for further proceedings, noting that the plaintiffs may have an opportunity to raise arguments regarding the enforceability and validity of the arbitration agreement on remand.


Case Name: Mylan Pharmaceuticals v. Warner Chilcott

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir. Docket: 15-2236

Decided: 9/28/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Third circuit upholds Eastern District of Pennsylvania's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants.


Case Name: Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO) v. Arizona Corp. Comm'n

Court: Arizona Supreme Court   Docket: CV-15-0281-PR

Decided: 8/8/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: The system's improvement benefits mechanism that adds a surcharge to the bills of residential water customers complies with the Arizona Constitution's mandate that the Commission determine the fair value of a utility's property when setting rates to improve the water infrastructure.


Case Name: Pelzer (formerlyVassalle) v. Midland Funding

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 6th Cir.    Docket: 14-4156

Decided: 7/7/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The sixth circuit affirmed the district court's approval of a revised nationawide class-action settlement. The revised settlement resolved the issues regarding superiority and adequacy that prevented approval of an earlier settlement.


Case Name: Glover v. Udren Law Offices

Court: Pa. Supreme Court    Docket: 3 WAP 2015

Decided: 6/20/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: A homeowner charged unearned attorneys' fees in violation of Pennsylvania's Loan Interest and Protection law may seek a remedy against an attorney acting on behalf of a mortgage company.


Case Name: Universal Health Servs. v. U.S. and Mass. ex rel. Escobar and Correa

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 15-7

Decided: 6/16/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling favored the plaintiffs, the federal government and Massachusetts, but it remanded the case rather than affirming the lower court's ruling for the plaintiffs.


Case Name: Taylor v. First Resolution Invest. Corp. (formerly Jarvis v. First Resolution Invest. Corp.)

Court: Ohio Supreme Court    Docket: 13-0118

Decided: 6/16/2016

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court held that claims made in legal pleadings for amounts which cannot legally be collected can give rise to a violation of both the FDCPA and the state statute, and that both debt buyers and their lawyers are subject to the prohibitions in the state statute.


Case Name: Coleman v. District of Columbia

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. D.C.  Docket: 13-01456-EGS

Decided: 6/11/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result:  The district court denied the motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that the plaintiffs stated claim of taking without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, where the plaintiffs cited sources of law establishing a recognized property interest in home equity


Case Name: Citizens, State of Florida v. Graham

Court: Fla. Supreme Court    Docket: SC 15-95

Decided: 5/19/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court reversed an order of the Florida Public Services Commission (PSC) that allowed Florida Power and Light to pass on to ratepayers the costs of its exploration and hydraulic fracturing operations in Oklahoma because the state legislature had not granted the PSC suthority to regulate out-of-state operations.


Case Name: Sheriff v. Gillie

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 15-338

Decided: 5/16/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: The Court reversed the appeals court decision, finding that a law firm's debt collection letter on attorney general letterhead was not deceptive when issued on behalf of, and with permission from, the attorney general. 


Case Name: U.S. ex rel. Ortolano v. Amin Radiology

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 11th Cir.   Docket: 15-10838

Decided: 5/3/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision. 


Case Name: U.S. ex rel. Colquitt v. Abbott Labs

Court: U.S. Dist Ct. ND Tex.    Docket: 06-cv-01769-M

Decided: 4/7/2016

Read Summary

Case Result: An eleven person jury issued a verdict for the defendants finding that they did not violate the False Claims Act by promoting unapproved medical devices for use in the vascular systems of primarily older patients.


Case Name: Griffith v. Aultman Hospital

Court: Ohio Supreme Court    Docket: 14-1055

Decided: 3/23/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Supreme Court of Ohio reverses the lower court which ruled that the definition of "medical record" under state law is restricted to only those records that providers choose to keep in their medical records department. Patients have a right under Ohio law to access their full medical record.


Case Name: Henson v. Santander Consumer U.S.A.

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 4th Cir.    Docket: 15-1187

Decided: 3/23/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Dismissal of class action lawsuit affirmed where the debts being collected were included in a large portfolio of debts purchased by Santander for servicing, including debts that were not delinquent when they were purchased. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to creditors who own loans purchased for servicing because their primary business is not debt collection.


Case Name: Torres v. SGE Management

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 5th Cir.  Docket: 14-20128

Decided: 3/12/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result:  Petition for en banc review granted


Case Name: Loestrin 24 Fe Antitrust Litigation (In re)

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 1st Cir.  Docket: 14-2071

Decided: 2/22/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The first circuit held that "pay-for-delay" agreements do not necessarily have to involve a cash payment to be scrutinized under antitrust law.


Case Name: Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez

Court: U.S. Supreme Court  Docket: 14-857

Decided: 1/20/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: An unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment made pursuant to F.R.C.P. 68 does not moot a plaintiff's case.


Case Name: McFarland v. Wells Fargo

Court: U.S. Ct. App 4th Cir.    Docket: 14-216

Decided: 1/15/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court of appeals held that the district court properly entered summary judgment against Plaintiff on his common law claim that the contract should not be enforced because the terms were substantively unconscionable; but, the court did recognize Plaintiff's statutory claim to challenge the banks's unconscionable inducement of Plaintiff to enter into such a loan. The case was remanded to federal district court for further proceedings on Plaintiff's unconscionable inducement claim.


Case Name: Caplinger v. Medtronic

Court: U.S. Supreme Court  Docket: 15-321

Decided: 1/11/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Are state law claims against a medical device manufacturer based on injuries caused by a medical device preempted where the device was not granted premarket approval for the particular use that caused the injuries and the manufacturer marketed the device for that unapproved use?

Case Result: The U.S. Supreme Court denied the cert petition.


Case Name: Univ. of Utah Research Found. v. Ambry Genetics

Court: U.S. Ct. App. Fed. Cir.  Docket: 14-1361

Decided: 12/15/2014

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Myriad's tests for genetic mutations that cause breast cancer were not patent eligible.


Case Name: Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments

Court: U.S. Supreme Court    Docket: 13-369

Decided: 6/2/2014

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The "insolubly ambiguous" test created by the federal circuit for patents is improper.


Case Name: Univ. of Utah Research Found. v. Ambry Genetics

Court: U.S. Dist Ct. Utah    Docket: 2:13 cv 00640 RJS

Decided: 3/10/2014

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief

Case Result: Court denied request for preliminary injunction to block alternate genetic tests, finding that plaintiff was not likely to succeed on merits.


Case Name: Bilski v. Kappos

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 08-964

Decided: 2010

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Court held that the claimed "business method" was not patent eligible but left unanswered which "business method" patents would be upheld in the future.