A Conversation with State Attorneys General Webcast | Wednesday, April 18, 2:00 PM (ET)
Join Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland and incoming president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), for the next installment of “A Conversation with State Attorneys General,” Dickstein Shapiro’s ongoing webcast series. State AG Practice Partner Divonne Smoyer will interview AG Gansler about his role and priorities as Maryland’s chief legal officer. AG Gansler will also answer questions from the audience. Please click here to register for this complimentary program.
16 AGs Sue Publishers, Apple over Alleged E-Book Pricing Conspiracy
- 16 AGs, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, filed suit against Holtzbrinck Publishers (known by the trade name Macmillan), Penguin Publishing Co., and Apple over allegations that the companies conspired to raise the price of electronic books by restricting the ability of retailers to offer those books at a discount to consumers, potentially costing consumers up to $100 million over a two-year period. A third publisher, Simon & Schuster, was named in the AGs’ complaint but is reportedly negotiating with AGs, having already settled with the U.S. DOJ.
- Two other publishers, Hachette and HarperCollins, already have settled with the federal government and the AGs, agreeing to end their restrictions on retailer discounts and agreeing to a combined $51 million in restitution to e-book customers nationwide.
Arkansas AG Obtains $1.1 Billion Verdict in Lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals
- An Arkansas judge levied $1.1 billion in fines and payments against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent Johnson & Johnson after a jury ruled for the State in a lawsuit brought by Arkansas AG Dustin McDaniel alleging that Janssen concealed the risks associated with its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
- The judge found that the company, by downplaying risks of strokes, seizures, and other side-effects allegedly associated with prescriptions for Risperdal paid by Arkansas Medicaid, committed more than 240,000 violations of the State’s Medicaid fraud statute and more than 4,500 violations of the consumer protection act.
New York AG Petitions State Court to Intervene in Bank of America Bond Settlement
- New York AG Eric Schneiderman has filed a petition in state court to intervene and object to Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with holders of mortgage bonds issued by Countrywide Financial Corporation.
- AG Schneiderman, who intervened and objected in federal court before the action was remanded to New York state court, has asserted that the proposed settlement, in which Bank of New York Mellon is acting as trustee for investors, would be unfair because it represents only a small percentage of the total losses to all investors.
Massachusetts AG Settles Hazardous Cleanup Funds Fraud Allegations with Sunoco
- Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced a settlement with Sunoco to resolve allegations that the company falsely sought payment from a state fund for hazardous waste clean-up.
- Under the settlement, the company agreed to pay $2.2 million to resolve allegations that it improperly sought reimbursement from the state fund for claims that it had also submitted to its private insurers related to its clean-up of leaks from underground fuel storage tanks.
Wisconsin AG Settles Air Pollution Claims with Ethanol Producer
- Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen announced a settlement with Valero Renewable Fuels Company, an ethanol producer, over allegations that the company violated Wisconsin air pollution laws.
- The company, now bankrupt, allegedly operated in violation of its air pollution permit for a four month period in 2010, and has agreed to $17,000 in penalties to resolve the claims.