Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

First Circuit Holds Japan is an Adequate Alternative Forum

On April 24, 2020, the First Circuit affirmed the District of Massachusetts’ dismissal of a case against General Electric on forum non conveniens grounds.

In 2011, an earthquake-induced tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Individuals and businesses who suffered property damage and/or economic harm from the disaster filed a class action lawsuit against General Electric, which designed the power plant’s nuclear reactors and safety mechanisms, in the District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The district court held Japan provided an adequate alternative forum and dismissal was in both the private and public interest. Continue Reading

Court Determines New York’s Recently Amended Venue Provision Does Not Limit Where Lawsuits Between Non-Residents May Be Filed

In 2017, New York amended its general venue statute. For as long as New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules has existed, the general venue statute (CPLR § 503(a)) placed proper venue solely based on residence of the parties. Prior to 2017, it read: Continue Reading

No Country for Price Gouging: States Can Punish Price Gouging Without Price Gouging-Specific Laws

Though much attention has been paid to state price gouging laws, several states without price gouging laws have nevertheless been active enforcers. Governors in many of these states have issued executive orders empowering their enforcers to target price gouging. Other states have repurposed existing laws to target price gouging. Price gouging in these states may pose greater compliance risk than in states with specific price gouging laws because these the states may not have statutory definitions or clear standards for what conduct constitutes unlawful price gouging. In this post, we consider price gouging rules and enforcement in states without price gouging-specific laws. Continue Reading

Can You Sue for Price Gouging?

State Attorneys General are not the only ones enforcing price gouging laws in the current pandemic. Many states also provide a private right of action for victims of price gouging. Depending on the state, private litigants may seek injunctions, civil penalties, or even damages under state price gouging statutes and consumer protection laws. These remedies, and recent case filings, highlight the importance of price gouging compliance during this unprecedented global pandemic. Continue Reading

Appellate Court in New York Confirms Civil Conspiracy is Not an Independent Cause of Action

In early April 2020, the First Department affirmed the dismissal of a complaint by a Russian lawyer who had received an L.L.M. from Fordham University alleging “civil conspiracy” against Fordham and several American attorneys, reasoning that New York does not recognize a stand-alone claim of civil conspiracy. Continue Reading

State Price Gouging Laws: A Coast-to-Coast Reference Guide

Proskauer’s antitrust practice group has developed a State Price Gouging Laws: A Coast-to-Coast Reference Guide to help your business manage price gouging compliance during the COVID-19 emergency. State price gouging measures cast a wide and varied range of coverage, such that compliance at the national level means knowing each state’s covered products and services, permitted price increases, if any, and available defenses such as cost increases. Many price gouging state laws presently in effect reach upstream players in the supply chain and some include private rights of action, and even where a private right of action is not explicitly provided for, claims of unfair trade practices may be available to purchasers.

This useful tool compiles the state price gouging laws and emergency measures currently in effect across all 50 states.

Download the State Price Gouging Laws Reference Guide.

Latest Attack on the Affordable Care Act Soundly Defeated: “The Government should honor its obligations.”

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has survived yet another challenge in the federal courts. In a resounding 8-1 decision this Monday, April 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that health insurance companies who suffered losses entering the new marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) were entitled to compensation for those losses. Continue Reading

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