A move on the part of large pharmaceutical distributors to get a civil lawsuit against them taken from state superior court to federal court failed Monday.
Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation, along with their various sued subdivisions, filed a motion to reopen the case at the federal level, as the court previously remanded the case June 4 back to Glynn County Superior Court. The earlier remand was because not all defendants agreed to removing the case to federal court.
A controversy ensued in which the plaintiffs were accused of improper behavior by agreeing to a deal with Charles Robert Lott, who was in charge of City Drug before it closed.
U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood states in her order, “The moving defendants argue such collusion occurred prior to the removal of this action and that the agreement was not disclosed to the court or the moving defendants. These facts, the moving defendants argue, establish fraud, misrepresentation and misconduct by plaintiffs and Lott.”
She states that regardless of anything else, the motion fails because the settlement wasn’t done by the time of removal, and that they at best had a preliminary agreement.
Further, “according to defendants’ own briefs, defendants themselves became aware prior to the remand hearing and order that plaintiffs were contemplating a settlement with the nonconsenting defendants. For some reason, defendants elected not to bring that knowledge to this court’s attention until after they lost the remand motion.”
Motions hearings in the case are scheduled for superior court on Sept. 11 and 12 in the court of Judge Roger Lane at 9:30 a.m.
In another federal matter, U.S. Magistrate Judge Benjamin Cheesbro ordered a stay of discovery in the lawsuit over nearly half an acre of wetland-filling adjacent to the Inn at Sea Island on St. Simons Island. The stay is in effect while the court considers Sea Island Acquisition’s motion to dismiss against the complaint brought by Glynn Environmental Coalition and the Center for a Sustainable Coast.
Cheesbro, in the order, notes Sea Island raises five arguments in its motion to dismiss, of which permit compliance is but one.
“The other arguments challenge the sufficiency of plaintiffs’ pleadings — specifically, whether plaintiffs can bring a cause of action under the Clean Water Act, whether plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a violation of the Clean Water Act, whether plaintiffs’ allegations demonstrate an injury-in-fact, and whether plaintiffs’ complaint constitutes an impermissible ‘shotgun pleading,’ he wrote.
Cheesbro continues, “These remaining arguments represent facial attacks which likely will not require additional discovery to resolve. Finally, defendant argues a stay will not cause plaintiffs substantial prejudice. … Plaintiffs do not dispute this point or identify any prejudice that would arise from a stay. … Thus, defendant has demonstrated that its motion to dismiss, if granted, would limit or eliminate the need for discovery.”