Saturday, December 1, 2007
On November 26, in the Southern District of New York, Judge Kaplan dismissed claims made by the Louisiana Attorney General’s office that the State would not have paid for Rezulin prescriptions filled by Medicaid recipients if it knew that information was withheld or misrepresented by Warner-Lambert. The MDL Panel transferred the case to the court in September of 2005. But in the two years since, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office did not initiate discovery requests and failed to submit a Rule 56(f) affidavit to counter defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Although one might dismiss the case as an anomaly, it does raise questions about institutional design. Namely, who should bring enforcement actions—public governmental actors, private attorney’s generals, or some mix of the two. This case suggests some value to having multiple, decentralized enforcers to circumnavigate potential agency inaction. I’ve written about additional benefits to decentralization in an earlier piece that can be found here.