Class Actions -- 2018

GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Louisiana   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Sovereign immunity and duplicative state government suits

The NAM filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of an appellate court’s decision that allowed the state of Louisiana to sue a manufacturer after receiving benefits from a class action settlement involving the same claims. At issue was whether the state can be bound by the settlement agreement when it claimed sovereign immunity from litigation under the Eleventh Amendment. Certainty and fairness in class actions settlements are important to manufacturers because settlements, although often expensive, provide litigation closure and ensure that they will never again face the same claims. The NAM’s brief explained why the Supreme Court should have reviewed the case to resolve the conflict between the appellate decision and numerous other decisions holding that sovereign immunity does not extend beyond claims filed against a state. GSK agreed to a favorable settlement with the state, and, as a result of the settlement, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the petition for review.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (August 8, 2018)


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