Activist investors continue to make liberal use of the SEC’s Rule 14a-8 to submit proposals for inclusion in company proxy statements. One of the most important shareholder trends to emerge from 2018 is the increasing involvement and support of large institutional investors in certain campaigns. Crisis management was one area in particular that institutional investors prioritized and sought disclosure on in 2018. Highly charged current events such as the MeToo Movement, the opioid crisis and the debate over gun safety, for example, have led shareholders at some of the largest retailers and manufacturers to urge greater disclosure on the reputational risks of these issues.

Continue Reading Recent Trends in Shareholder Proposals

At the end of May, President Trump unveiled his latest proposed budget blueprint for 2018. The proposed budget contains significant funding cuts for many government programs, including more than a 25 percent cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Continue Reading Proposed Budget Cut to the Food Stamp Program Worries Many Food Retailers

The Second Circuit recently held that Rite-Aid lawfully fired a long-tenured pharmacist after he refused to comply with the company’s new mandate that pharmacists must administer immunizations. The court’s decision overturned a jury verdict of $2.6 million in the pharmacist’s favor and reminds employers what it takes to show that a given function is “essential” and what accommodations are reasonable. The former pharmacist had claimed Rite-Aid illegally discharged and retaliated against him, and refused to accommodate his disability—trypanophobia, or needle phobia—under the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state law. Continue Reading Second Circuit Says Firing Disabled Worker Was Lawful

Last year, we reported on Hunton’s Employment & Labor Law Perspectives blog that a confederation of trade associations filed an amicus brief supporting Volkswagen Group’s challenge to a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Regional Director’s decision allowing a union election in a “micro-unit” of maintenance workers at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, auto manufacturing plant. At the time, the case was on review before the full NLRB. Unsurprisingly, the NLRB upheld the Regional Director’s decision on review. Now, Volkswagen is seeking review of that decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Continue Reading Business Coalition Weighs in Again on VW’s Challenge to NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare Standard

On July 19, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. H.D. Smith, LLC, No. 15-2825 that a general liability insurer’s duty to defend suits seeking damages “because of bodily injury” was triggered when the state of West Virginia sued a pharmaceutical distributor, alleging it had contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, causing the state to spend money to care for addicted citizens. Continue Reading Pharmaceutical Distributor Sued – A Tough Pill for Insurers to Swallow

The supply of a medicinal product without a marketing authorisation under national provisional permissions of use does not generally prevent an SPC.

The scope of protection of an SPC for a virus may be broader than the specific virus strain mentioned in the marketing authorization.

Today, the EFTA Court ruled on two important SPC issues that were raised in the Intervet case (E – 16/14). The case concerns, on the one hand, the supply of a veterinary vaccine without a marketing authorisation (‘MA’) under successive national provisional permissions of use in order to fight a serious epizootic disease, and, on another hand, the scope of an SPC granted for a virus.

 

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How much particularity is required to plead a claim under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), a statute designed to root out fraud against the government? While courts purport to apply the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) and its stringent standards for pleading fraud, several circuits take a more flexible approach when assessing claims brought under the FCA. The United States Supreme Court recently declined to take up the matter and resolve this key question. Accordingly, the forum in which an FCA suit is brought continues to have a dramatic impact on whether it will be subject to an early dismissal.

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On June 12, 2014, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that may require retailers to modify their existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) authorizations for pharmacy reward programs. The law, which will become effective on July 1, 2014, obligates retailers to provide consumers with a “plain language summary of the terms and conditions” of their pharmacy reward programs before the consumers may enroll. It also requires retailers to include specific content in their authorization forms that are required pursuant to the HIPAA. If the consumer is required to sign a HIPAA authorization to participate in a pharmacy reward program, the authorization must include the following items “adjacent to the point where the HIPAA authorization form is to be signed”:

  • The specific uses and disclosures of protected health information (“PHI”) permitted by the HIPAA authorization;
  • Whether PHI will be disclosed to third parties, and that such information will not be protected by federal or state privacy laws;
  • Which third parties will have access to the PHI;
  • How the consumer may revoke his or her HIPAA authorization; and
  • That the consumer is entitled to a copy of the signed HIPAA authorization.

Because the requirements of the Connecticut law go beyond the current content requirements for HIPAA authorizations in the HIPAA Privacy Rule, retailers should consider whether they need to revise existing HIPAA authorizations to comply.