Fifth Circuit Dismisses Antitrust Appeal Against Quest Diagnostics

On Tuesday, the court ruled in a case brought by the Academy of Allergy & Asthma in Primary Care and United Biologics, LLC doing business as United Allergy Services (UAS) , against Quest Diagnostics. The appeal attempted to reverse the district court’s ruling that Quest Diagnostics did not try to force the appellants out of the allergy and asthma testing market. The Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the plaintiffs’s appeal.

Quest’s motion to dismiss was granted on February 22, 2019 by the Western District of Texas. The court explained that the plaintiffs’ action under the Sherman Act and the Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act was time barred and the pleadings failed to raise any basis for tolling. The court cited the complaint where the plaintiffs alleged Quest’s most recent act of conspiracy happened in August 2013. The Sherman Act and the Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act impose a four year time period during which suits must be filed;. Texas common law allows a two year time period. The plaintiffs did not file a complaint until December 28, 2017, which is outside of both time periods.

The Fifth Circuit disagreed with the district court’s ruling regarding the misappropriation of trade secrets claim and reversed the plaintiffs’ dismissal. The plaintiffs would not have been able to discover Quest’s client list in an appropriate amount of time.

The Fifth Circuit agreed with the district court’s ruling and dismissed plaintiff’s civil conspiracy claim. The plaintiffs argued that Quest’s alleged fraudulent concealment wrongdoing may toll the statute of limitations. However, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to plead that they used diligence in trying to discover Quest’s civil conspiracy.

The Fifth Circuit agreed with the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ tortious interference claim on the bases that the plaintiffs did not plead adequate factual support.

The plaintiffs where represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. The defendants where represented by Baker & McKenzie LLP.