Justia Wisconsin Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Hinrichs v. DOW Chemical Co.
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court's dismissal of Chris Hinrichs and Autovation Limited's (collectively, Hinrichs) common law misrepresentation claims against the DOW Chemical Company and reversing the circuit court's dismissal of Hinrichs' statutory claim under Wis. Stat. 100.18, holding that the court of appeals did not err.Specifically, the Supreme Court held that, with regard to Hinrichs' common law claims, neither the "fraud in the inducement" exception nor the "other property exception" to the economic loss doctrine applied to allow Hinrichs' common law claims to go forward. With regard to Hinrichs' statutory claims the Court held (1) the economic loss doctrine does not serve as a bar to claims made under section 100.18; (2) because one person can be "the public" for purposes of section 100.18(1), the court of appeals did not err in determining that dismissal for failure to meet "the public" factor of the section 100.18 claim was in error; and (3) the heightened pleading standard for claims of fraud does not apply to claims made under section 100.18 and that Hinrichs' complaint stated a claim under the general pleading standard. View "Hinrichs v. DOW Chemical Co." on Justia Law
North Highland Inc. v. Jefferson Machine & Tool Inc.
The Supreme Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Frederick Wells, holding that North Highland, Inc. failed present sufficient evidence to support either its claim of conspiracy to breach a fiduciary duty or its claim of misappropriation of a trade secret. North Highland alleged that Wells conspired to breach a fiduciary duty that a former North Highland employee owed to the company and that Wells misappropriated a trade secret. The court of appeals affirmed the circuit court order, concluding that North Highland failed to set forth facts establishing that there was a conspiracy or that a trade secret was misappropriated. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the record was insufficient to support a conspiracy claim or a misappropriation of a trade secret claim. View "North Highland Inc. v. Jefferson Machine & Tool Inc." on Justia Law
State v. Abbott Labs.
The State brought a civil action against Pharmacia Corporation, alleging that the company reported inflated drug prices to Wisconsin Medicaid. A jury found Pharmacia liable for violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and the Medicaid fraud statute. The jury awarded the State $2 million for the DTPA claim and $7 million for the Medicaid fraud claim. The jury also determined that Pharmacia committed 1,440,000 separate violations of the Medicaid fraud statute. In post-trial proceedings, the circuit court reduced the number of violations to 4,578. Both parties appealed. The court of appeals certified three issues to the Supreme Court. The Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment on the issues and remanded to the court of appeals, holding (1) the State was entitled to a jury trial on its Medicaid fraud claim; (2) the jury did not impermissibly speculate in determining the damage award; and (3) the circuit court properly reduced the number of violations found by the jury. View "State v. Abbott Labs." on Justia Law
E-Z Roll Off, L.L.C. v. County of Oneida
This appeal concerned an agreement between Oneida County and Waste Management for the disposal of municipal solid waste. E-Z Roll Off brought suit against Oneida County, alleging the agreement created an illegal restraint of trade and seeking damages pursuant to Wis. Stat. 133.18. The circuit court granted Oneida County's motion for summary judgment, holding that E-Z could not bring suit because E-Z had not filed a timely notice of claim in accordance with Wis. Stat. 893.80(1)(a). The court of appeals reversed, holding that antitrust actions brought pursuant to Section 133.18 are exempt from the notice of claim requirements found in Section 893.80(1). The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding that (1) antitrust actions brought pursuant to Section 133.18 are not exempt from the notice of claim requirements found in Section 893.80(1); and (2) E-Z did not meet the requirements of Section 893.80(1)(a) when it failed to give Oneida County notice of its claim within the 120-day limitations period. View "E-Z Roll Off, L.L.C. v. County of Oneida" on Justia Law
Rasmussen v. General Motors Corp.
David Rasmussen filed a class-action complaint against several automobile companies, including Nissan Japan and its wholly owned subsidiary, Nissan North America. The complaint alleged that the automobile company defendants violated Wisconsin's antitrust and conspiracy laws. The circuit court dismissed Nissan Japan from the lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court of appeals affirmed the order of dismissal. At issue was whether Wisconsin's long-arm statute granting personal jurisdiction over individuals engaged in substantial and not isolated activities within Wisconsin subjected Nissan Japan to personal jurisdiction in Wisconsin. On review, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statutory prerequisites for general personal jurisdiction were not met because (1) the activities of the subsidiary corporation, Nissan North America, were insufficient to subject its nonresident parent corporation, Nissan Japan, to general personal jurisdiction, and (2) Rasmussen did not meet his burden to show that the corporate separateness of Nissan Japan and Nissan North America should be disregarded such that the activities of Nissan North America in Wisconsin should be imputed to Nissan Japan. View "Rasmussen v. General Motors Corp." on Justia Law