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Antitrust matters are rarely isolated within a single state or federal agency or jurisdiction. We represent clients facing multi-dimensional antitrust challenges on the transactional, regulatory and litigation fronts, mobilizing an unmatched combination of courtroom excellence, government experience and legal, economic and academic prowess on our clients’ behalf.
Paul, Weiss won the complete dismissal, with prejudice, of an antitrust class action against Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD).
The lawsuit, Marion HealthCare v. Becton, Dickinson & Company et al., was brought by plaintiffs suing on behalf of a putative class of all U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. Plaintiffs claimed that BD conspired with distributors of its products to inflate the prices of syringes and IV catheters by excluding competitors from the market. In 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois granted BD’s motion to dismiss an earlier version of the complaint, finding that plaintiffs lacked standing to sue BD under the Supreme Court’s decision in Illinois Brick. Plaintiffs appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which remanded to allow plaintiffs to try to establish, in an amended pleading, that they fit within a “conspiracy exception” to the Illinois Brick rule.
On remand, BD moved to dismiss again on grounds that plaintiffs had failed to adequately allege a conspiracy. In a hearing on the motion to dismiss on February 23, the Paul, Weiss team argued that the amended complaint should be rejected in its entirety, because the plaintiffs had failed to allege facts sufficient to plead a conspiracy and thus did not satisfy the “conspiracy exception.” U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel granted the motion, finding that plaintiffs’ conspiracy claim was “implausible on its face, and it must be dismissed.”March 15, 2021