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(Reuters) – A Chicago federal choose on Wednesday declined to dismiss Walgreen Co’s declare that a law firm symbolizing major wellbeing insurers in a drug-pricing lawsuit in opposition to the pharmacy retailer has a conflict of desire due to the fact it previously represented the firm.
U.S. District Decide Virginia Kendall said in her ruling that Walgreens had offered sufficient details to keep alive its assertion that Washington, D.C.-primarily based Crowell & Moring has breached its fiduciary duties to Walgreens centered on its prior legal function for the business.
The Deerfield, Illinois-primarily based Walgreens produced the assertion as a counterclaim versus wellbeing care system plaintiffs represented by Crowell in a lawsuit from the pharmacy. The insurers, which include Blue Cross and Blue Defend of Minnesota and other entities, accuse Walgreens of distributing inflated promises of drug rates. Walgreens has denied the claims.
Crowell’s lawyers at the companies Perkins Coie, and Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis did not straight away return a concept on Thursday searching for remark. The business phone calls Walgreens’ conflict promises “meritless.”
An lawyer for Walgreens at Ropes & Gray did not comment.
Crowell as soon as represented Walgreens just after the start of its “prescription financial savings club” software, and the company contends that the plaintiffs’ promises in the Chicago drug-pricing lawsuit relate to the regulation firm’s prior lawful products and services.
Walgreens’ lawyers contend the plaintiff wellbeing designs are “aiding and abetting” Crowell’s alleged conflict of curiosity.
Kendall’s ruling also denied a bid from Crowell to “qualify” the law organization to stand for the plaintiffs in their case versus Walgreens. The agency argued its perform for Walgreens additional than a 10 years back was not “substantially similar” to the pending Chicago lawsuit.
The judge mentioned you can find no case law recognizing a “movement to qualify.”
Such a movement “would flip the authorized typical governing disqualification on its head — properly forcing Walgreens to argue a movement to disqualify that it has not brought and may perhaps by no means deliver.”
Walgreens has a independent but associated lawsuit in Washington, D.C., towards Crowell that alleges a breach of ethics obligations. The retailer has urged a choose to strip costs Crowell has acquired or will receive connected to actions against Walgreens.
The situation is BCBSM Inc v. Walgreen Co, U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Illinois, No. 1:20-cv-01853.
For Crowell & Moring: T. Markus Funk of Perkins Coie and Thomas Mason of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis
For Walgreen: Jeff Bushofsky of Ropes & Gray
Walgreens presses ex-regulation organization to disclose consumer data amid lawsuit
Walgreens lawsuit versus Crowell & Moring clears early hurdle
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