DATA BREACH LITIGATION UPDATE: District Court Judge Rejects Remijas Settlement and Decertifies Class

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A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has dealt the latest blow to a consumer class seeking recovery from Neiman Marcus following the 2013 exposure of credit card information, as the result of a data breach. On September 17, 2018, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman decertified the class and rejected a $1.6 million settlement reached between the class and Neiman Marcus Group LLC.   More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare, Life Science, and the Next Merger

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As the world nears the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it should not come as a surprise that Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) will continue to impact a variety of business sectors. For proper context, AI has thus far been utilized primarily within consumer goods and technological sectors by familiar corporations such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. However, less familiar corporations in other business sectors have not been standing idly by. In the March 31st, 2018, issue of The Economist, the authors reported that in 2017, companies spent $22 billion dollars, 26 times more than they had in 2015, on AI-related mergers and acquisitions. Corporations, insurers, and attorneys that work in both the healthcare and life science industries would be wise to keep an eye on the next healthcare merger. The long-term benefits of AI in healthcare may be similar to the benefits that it has had on other sectors: lowering costs to consumers, creating a more efficient stream of services, and providing people with the ability to make more informed decisions. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Physicians Beware: New Jersey Supreme Court Erodes Self-Critical Analysis Privilege

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A recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision has eroded the long held self-critical analysis privilege applicable in New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuits. Health care facilities, physicians and their insurers will likely face increased liability exposure as a result of the Court’s decision in Bugaletta v. Garcia.[1]  Conversely, this decision should benefit patients alleging medical malpractice as they now have a means to obtain a summary of facts relevant to the alleged malpractice.    More »

EMPLOYMENT LAW CLIENT ALERT: Tenth Circuit Rules Failure to File Discrimination Claim with EEOC No Longer Jurisdictional Bar

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In a surprising decision overturning 40 years of precedent, the Tenth Circuit recently ruled that a plaintiff’s failure to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) was not a jurisdictional bar to a federal court adjudicating an employment discrimination claim. Lincoln v BNSF Railway Company, --- F3d --- (10th Cir. August 17, 2018). More »

EMPLOYMENT LAW: Can Employers Really Take a Deep Breath in the Wake of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis?

Overview

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the enforceability of individualized arbitration agreements as a matter of law in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. The decision left employers everywhere taking a collective and long-sought sigh of relief. But how protected are employers, really? More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: Seventh Circuit Reverses $3 Million Judgment Against GlaxoSmithKline Citing Preemption

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A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit reversed a verdict awarding the widow of a Chicago attorney $3 million following the death of her husband. Wendy Dolin alleged drug manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline LLC (“GSK”), was negligent in failing to warn consumers about the potential increased risk of suicide associated with the drug Paxil.

In 2010, Mr. Dolin was prescribed Paxil, the brand-name of the drug paroxetine manufactured by GSK, for the treatment of his depression. Mr. Dolin’s prescription was filled with a generic form of paroxetine manufactured by Mylan, Inc. While on paroxetine, Mr. Dolin committed suicide. Mr. Dolin’s widow brought suit alleging that Mr. Dolin’s suicide was a result of GSK’s failure to warn that Paxil was associated with increased risk of suicide in patients over the age of 24. Mrs. Dolin filed suit against Mylan and GSK in state court, but the matter was removed to the Northern District of Illinois by GSK. At trial, Mrs. Dolin advanced a new theory of liability where brand-name drug manufacturers, who have control over prescription drug formulas and labels, are held liable for injuries caused by taking generic forms of the drug, also known as innovator liability. After a jury awarded Mrs. Dolin $3 million in damages at trial, GSK appealed to the Seventh Circuit arguing Mrs. Dolin’s state law failure to warn claims were preempted by federal law and that GSK owed no duty of care since Mr. Dolin took a generic form of paroxetine rather than the brand-name drug, Paxil. The Seventh Circuit ruled that that GSK should not have been held liable since Mr. Dolin did not ingest the brand name prescription medication and because Mrs. Dolin’s state law failure to warn claims were preempted by federal law. More »

Effective Cyber-Risk Management For Small and Mid-Sized Companies

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Introduction

The risk of a cyber-attack is not just a “big business” problem. Due to the media’s reporting, many organizations have the impression that large companies – such as Target and Experian – are the only victims of cyber hacks and breaches. This line of thinking, however, is inconsistent with industry data, which demonstrates that small and mid-size companies are, in fact, vulnerable to this risk. 

Companies of all sizes, large and small, must ask themselves whether competitors are trying to steal their trade secrets, whether companies or others are interested in their intellectual property, and whether their business contracts make them a target for a security breach. The regulatory and litigation costs associated with a data breach are monumental and, in some cases – especially those involving small or mid-sized companies – can be catastrophic. It therefore behooves every company, regardless of size, to create an effective strategy for managing and minimizing the risk of a cyber event. 

There is no cookie cutter approach to managing this risk, and a cyber risk management strategy must be tailored to a company’s specific needs. As discussed below, best practices provide that a company must assess and address its cyber risk, and engage in additional activities in order to effectively manage this risk.   More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Medical Professionals and Opioid Lawsuits: Protecting Against the Coming Storm

The pharmaceutical industry and medical professionals are facing a crisis over opioid prescriptions – which have been a regular part of medical care and pain management for decades.  In 1977, the New England Journal of Medicine published an analysis of opioid medications and associated addiction which found opioid addiction and death to rarely develop from pain management with opioids. Following this publication, the medical industry began to use opioids with greater regularity throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s, and into the present day given their effectiveness in treating patients with both severe short-term and chronic pain. More »

TECHNOLOGY & CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: The Battle for Standing in Data-Breach Litigation Rages On

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The battle over standing in cyber-security litigation continues. . . .

The latest example appears to be related to a data-breach involving the Hudson Bay Company. Founded in 1670, the Hudson Bay Company is one of the oldest companies in North America. On April 1, 2018 it joined the ever growing list of corporations that have been victimized by cyber-security breaches. Specifically, the Hudson Bay Company, which is the corporate parent of luxury department stores Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Lord & Taylor, posted a statement on its company web pages explaining that it had become aware of a data security issue involving customer payment data at certain North American stores. The statement goes on to inform customers that Hudson Bay Company is working with security investigators regarding the breach. On April 2nd, the statement was updated to reassure customers that there was no indication that social security numbers, drivers licenses numbers, and pins had been compromised, and that the company was conducting a diligent investigation to gain an understanding of the scope of the breach. More »

LAWYERS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Protecting Against Legal Malpractice Counterclaims in New York

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An attorney must proceed prudently in commencing a fee claim, as a counterclaim for legal malpractice will often be asserted by a former, delinquent client. The following article summarizes the procedural mechanisms and litigation strategies an attorney can utilize to protect against the former client’s filing of such a counterclaim.[1] More »

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