Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why was a Notice mailed?
  2. Am I being sued?
  3. What is this lawsuit about?
  4. What are blood reagents and Traditional Blood Reagents?
  5. Who are the Defendants in this case?
  6. What is a class action lawsuit?
  7. Who is included in the Class?
  8. What is the status of the lawsuit?
  9. What is the Proposed Settlement with Ortho?
  10. What are my options?
  11. In return for remaining in the Class, what did I give up?
  12. How do I object to the Ortho Settlement?
  13. What happens if I do nothing?
  14. Do I have a lawyer in this matter?
  15. What settlement funds are to be distributed?
  16. How will the settlement funds be calculated and distributed?
  17. How will the lawyers be paid?
  18. Will the Class Representatives receive anything for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuit?
  19. When will I receive my payment?
  20. How do I object to the Distribution Plan, Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, or service awards for the Class Representatives?
  21. Where can I find additional information regarding the Ortho Settlement?
  22. How do I get more information regarding the Immucor Settlement?
  23. How do I get more information regarding the Distribution Plan?
  1. Why was a Notice mailed?

    A Notice was mailed to potential Class Members who were identified as a direct purchaser of Traditional Blood Reagents from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. (“Ortho”) and/or Immucor or their subsidiaries. The Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the Ortho Settlement and the Proposed Distribution, and your options regarding these matters. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Ortho Settlement, and your legal rights and options with respect to the Ortho Settlement and the Proposed Distribution.

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  2. Am I being sued?

    No, you are not being sued. The Notice is to inform you of your rights and benefits you may receive as a potential Class member.

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  3. What is this lawsuit about?

    This lawsuit was filed by a group of Plaintiffs or Class Representatives, individually and as representatives of all persons in the United States who purchased Traditional Blood Reagents directly from the Defendants. The lawsuit asserts that, as a result of Defendants’ alleged conduct, the prices paid for Traditional Blood Reagents were higher than they otherwise would have been. Plaintiffs seek to recover three times the actual damages that they allege Defendants’ conduct caused, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. Defendants have denied Plaintiffs’ allegations of price fixing. Defendants have also denied that they are liable for any damages, attorneys’ fees, or costs.

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  4. What are blood reagents and Traditional Blood Reagents?

    “Blood Reagents” are products designed and manufactured to test, match, detect, screen, diagnose and/or otherwise identify certain properties of human blood.  Traditional Blood Reagents, as used herein, are blood reagents that are primarily used to test blood manually in test tubes. In contrast, proprietary blood reagents, as used herein, are blood reagents that are primarily used to test blood in automated and/or semi-automated platforms. Proprietary reagents sold by Defendants include, but are not limited to, Ortho’s ID-MTS gel products and Immucor’s Capture products. For purposes of this litigation, the definition of Traditional Blood Reagents does not include Ortho’s 0.8% red blood cell reagents.  The term “Blood Reagents” includes Traditional Blood Reagents and proprietary blood reagents, as well as Ortho’s 0.8% red blood cell reagents.

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  5. Who are the Defendants in this case?

    The Defendants are Immucor and Ortho.  However, Immucor entered into a settlement agreement with Plaintiffs and were subsequently dismissed from this action on September 6, 2012.  For additional information regarding the Immucor Settlement, please click here. 

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  6. What is a class action lawsuit?

    In a class action, people or entities called class representatives sue on behalf of people or entities who have similar claims.  All these entities make up the class and are called class members.  The Court then resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.  U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is overseeing this lawsuit.

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  7. Who is included in the Class?

    The Class includes all persons and entities that purchased Traditional Blood Reagents in the United States directly from either Defendant, Ortho or Immucor, during the period from November 4, 2000 through October 19, 2015.

    Even if you meet these requirements, you are not a member of the Class if you are (a) a federal governmental entity, (b) a Defendant, or a Defendant’s parent, subsidiary, or (c) affiliate.

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  8. What is the status of the lawsuit?

    Plaintiffs previously reached a settlement with Immucor in the amount of $22,000,000 on January 11, 2012, which was granted final approval by the Court on September 6, 2012. As a result of this settlement, Immucor was dismissed from the case. Notice was provided about the Immucor settlement in 2012; copies of those notices are available here or by calling 1-885-231-9423.

    The Court has not resolved the merits of all of Plaintiffs’ claims, or determined whether Plaintiffs’ or Ortho’s contentions are true. In July 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part Ortho’s motion for summary judgment. It dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims as to the 2005 and 2008 price increases for Traditional Blood Reagents, but it found that Plaintiffs offered sufficient evidence regarding Defendants’ alleged conspiracy to fix prices starting in 2001 for Traditional Blood Reagents 2001 to allow that aspect of their claims to proceed to trial against Ortho.  Subsequent to the Court’s decision, on the eve of trial, Plaintiffs reached a settlement with Ortho to end the litigation.

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  9. What is the Proposed Settlement with Ortho?

    Plaintiffs have agreed with Ortho to settle the lawsuit on behalf of the Class.  The proposed settlement is only with Ortho.  Defendant Immucor was previously dismissed as a result of its prior settlement.

    The settlement with Ortho provides that Ortho will pay $19.5 million.

    Class Counsel believes that the Ortho settlement is fair and in the best interests of the Class Members.

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  10. What are my options?

    If you did not exclude yourself prior to April 6, 2016, you are a member of the Class.  As a member of the Class, your interests will be represented by the Class Representatives and Class Counsel, you will be bound by any judgment dismissing the lawsuit against Ortho, and you will not be able to file or maintain your own lawsuit against Ortho regarding the subject of this lawsuit. By remaining in the Class, you are eligible to receive a share of the Ortho Settlement amount once it is paid out, after payment for attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses as approved by the Court. 

    Excluded (Ortho Settlement).   You previously had the right to exclude yourself from the Class, and were provided notice of that fact in February and/or March of 2016.  If you had excluded yourself, you would not have been bound by the decisions of the Court and would not be entitled to receive any money from the Ortho Settlement once it is paid out.  Your exclusion from the Class would not have affected your rights with respect to the Immucor Settlement.  However, Plaintiffs and Ortho agree that no members of the Class asked to be excluded from the Class.

    Object to the Ortho Settlement.  Because you did not previously exclude yourself from the Class, you may write to the Court to object to the terms of the Ortho Settlement, per FAQ 12.

    Hire your own Lawyer.  You may, but are not required to, hire your own lawyer at your own expense to advise you of your rights in this class action lawsuit.  You have the right to enter an appearance in the case through your lawyer.  

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  11. In return for remaining in the Class, what did I give up?

    By remaining in the Class, you are bound by any decision of the Court in this case, and you gave up your rights to sue Ortho for the same legal claims involved in this case.  By remaining in the Class, you are eligible to receive a share of the Ortho Settlement Fund after payment for attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses as approved by the Court.

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  12. How do I object to the Ortho Settlement?

    The Court will hold a hearing on October 24, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Courtroom 12-B, to consider whether the Ortho Settlement is fair and should be approved.  The Court may also consider whether to approve Plaintiffs’ Proposed Distribution of the settlement funds.  The hearing may be continued or rescheduled without further notice.

    If you did not exclude yourself from the Class prior to April 6, 2016, you may object to the terms of the Ortho Settlement Agreement.  Your objection must be in writing, include the caption of this litigation (provided on page 3 of the Notice, available here), state the nature and grounds for your objection, be signed by you, and be filed no later than September 27, 2018 with the Clerk of Court, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, James A. Byrne United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, with copies mailed to Class Counsel at Spector Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. 1818 Market Street, Ste. 2500, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  If you do not object to the Ortho Settlement or Plaintiffs’ Proposed Distribution of the settlement funds, you do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action at this time.

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  13. What happens if I do nothing?

    If you are a member of the Class and you choose to take no action, your interests as a member of the Class will be represented by the Class Representatives and Class Counsel and you will be bound by any decision or judgment entered by the Court with regard to the Ortho Settlement.  You are not able to start or continue with a lawsuit against Ortho regarding the claims described herein.  If the Ortho Settlement is approved by the Court, you will be entitled to submit evidence of your qualifying Traditional Blood Reagents purchases in order to potentially recover any overcharges you may have paid.  As a member of the Class, you will not be personally responsible for attorneys’ fees, costs or litigation expenses; any attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses will be awarded by the Court, and paid out of the total recovery.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in this matter?

    The Court has appointed the following law firm to represent the Class (called “Class Counsel”):

    Eugene A. Spector

    Jeffrey J. Corrigan

    Rachel E. Kopp

    Jeffrey L. Spector

    Len A. Fisher

    SPECTOR ROSEMAN & KODROFF, P.C.

    1818 Market Street

    Suite 2500

    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    (215) 496-0300

    Email:    espector@srkattorneys.com
    jcorrigan@srkattorneys.com
    rkopp@srkattorneys.com

    jspector@srkattorneys.com
    lfisher@srkattorneys.com

     

    You will not be personally charged for the services of these attorneys in litigating this case.  If you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.  You have the right to enter an appearance in the case through your lawyer if you wish.

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  15. What settlement funds are to be distributed?

    Plaintiffs in this case previously reached a settlement with Immucor for $22,000,000.  With respect to that settlement, notice was mailed to potential class members, was published in the AABB News, and is available for review here.   Class Counsel has not previously asked the Court to distribute any of the funds from the prior settlement to settlement class members and the settlement funds are being held in an interest-bearing account.  If the Court approves the Ortho Settlement, Class Counsel will now ask the Court to distribute the funds from both settlements to members of the Class, after deduction of attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses and any service awards to the Class Representatives.

     

    The funds from both of the settlements in the litigation (that is, the Immucor and Ortho Settlements), including any accrued interest, will be combined in a single Combined Settlement Fund.  Any entity that is a member of the Immucor Settlement Class is also a member of the Class and, upon submission of a valid claim, may be eligible to receive a portion of the Combined Settlement Fund.

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  16. How will the settlement funds be calculated and distributed?

    The substantial majority of the Net Combined Settlement Fund (the Combined Settlement Fund less any Court-awarded attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards) will be distributed pro-rata in accordance with each Class Member’s Traditional Blood Reagents purchases from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2004 (the “Damages Period”).  Each Class Member that files a timely claim will be allocated a share of the funds available for distribution, such that its share will be in proportion to the total of all Claimants’ Traditional Blood Reagents purchases during the Damages Period, with a minimum guaranteed distribution to each such Claimant of $250.  Class Counsel anticipates using Defendants’ transactional data produced in the litigation to provide Class Members a proposed calculation of their Traditional Blood Reagents purchases during the Damages Period.  Class Members will have the option of accepting this calculation, or alternatively providing their own calculation of purchases during the Damages Period (with supporting documentation), which will then be subject to review by the Claims Administrator.

    If a Class Member opted out of the Immucor settlement, its purchases during the Damages Period will be reduced accordingly.  Because approximately 53% of the Combined Settlement Fund is attributable to the Immucor Settlement, if a Class Member opted out of the Immucor settlement, its purchases would be valued at approximately $0.47 (i.e., $1 minus $0.53) on the dollar.

    The remainder of the Net Combined Settlement Fund will be distributed to Class Members who only purchased Traditional Blood Reagents directly from a Defendant from January 1, 2005 through April 30, 2009.  The Immucor settlement and the Class specified class periods extending after the Damages Period, with the Immucor Settlement Class including purchases through February 23, 2012 and the Class including purchases through October 19, 2015.  Thus, the certified classes include some entities that only purchased Traditional Blood Reagents after 2004 (and not during the Damages Period).  Subsequent events in the litigation, however, have substantially diminished the value of claims after the Damages Period.  First, the Court’s summary judgment decision dismissed claims based upon the 2005 and 2008 price increases.  The Court later concluded that Plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony did not provide a reliable basis to estimate any damages from the 2001 price increase that may have continued after 2004.  Nevertheless, Class Counsel believe it is appropriate to allocate some recovery based on purchases for the period January 1, 2005 through and including April 30, 2009, to reflect the release provided by these Class Members and Plaintiffs’ expert’s opinion that, to the extent damages from the 2001 price increase did continue, they would have stopped at that point.  Accordingly, each Class Member who purchased Traditional Blood Reagents from January 1, 2005 through and including April 30, 2009, but not during the Damages Period, will receive $250.

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  17. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Attorneys for the Class are litigating this case on a completely contingent fee basis, meaning that you are not personally responsible for the attorneys’ fees, costs, or expenses in the case.  Class Counsel intends to ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses from the Ortho Settlement and the earlier Immucor settlement.  The Court can approve or deny any such a request.

     

    If the Court approves the proposed Ortho Settlement, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees of up to one-third of the Combined Settlement Fund, plus reimbursement of expenses that they incurred in the litigation and administering the settlement funds (not to exceed $2.75 million).  Class Counsel will file their petition for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses with the Court by September 12, 2018.  A copy of the petition will be posted on the Ortho Court Documents page or can be obtained by calling 1-855-231-9423.

     

    Any attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses will be awarded only as approved by the Court in amounts determined to be fair and reasonable.  If you wish to object to the petition for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, you may do so, but only by following the instructions in FAQ 12.

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  18. Will the Class Representatives receive anything for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuit?

    This lawsuit was filed by Plaintiffs F. Baragaño Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Community Medical Center Health Care System; Professional Resources Management of Crenshaw LLC d/b/a Crenshaw Community Hospital; Douglas County Hospital; Health Network Laboratories, L.P.; Larkin Community Hospital; Legacy Health System; Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, Inc.; Regional Medical Center Board d/b/a Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center; Hospital Sisters Health System (comprising Sacred Heart Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Francis Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. John’s Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Breese, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Joseph’s Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis (Chippewa Falls), St. Joseph’s Hospital, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis (Highland), St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center of Green Bay, Inc., St. Mary’s Hospital, Streator, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, St. Nicholas Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, and St. Vincent Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis); Schuylkill Medical Center (comprising Schuylkill Medical Center - East Norwegian Street and Schuylkill Medical Center - South Jackson Street); and Warren General Hospital, also referred to as the Class Representatives.  If the Court approves the proposed Joint Settlement, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award the Class Representatives (with the Hospital Sisters and Schuylkill Medical Center plaintiffs each counting as a single Class Representative) up to $25,000 each for the time and effort they contributed to the prosecution of this litigation. These service awards would be paid from the Combined Settlement Fund.

     

    Any service awards will be awarded only as approved by the Court in amounts determined to be fair and reasonable.  If you wish to object to the proposed service awards, you may do so, but only by following the instructions in FAQ 12.

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  19. When will I receive my payment?

    Class Counsel will file briefs and material in support of their Distribution Plan by September 12, 2018, including a sample claim form.  A copy of the briefs and support materials will be posted on the Court Documents page or can be obtained by calling 1-855-231-9423.  Once the Court grants final approval to the Ortho Settlement and the Distribution Plan, the Claims Administrator will distribute claim forms to the members of the Class.  The distribution will take place as soon as practicable after review, determination, and audit of the Claim Forms by the Claims Administrator and approval by the Court of the Claims Administrator’s recommendations as to the specific amounts to be paid to claimants.  Please be patient as the claims and distribution process can take over a year.  

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  20. How do I object to the Distribution Plan, Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, or service awards for the Class Representatives?

    If you wish to object to the proposed distribution (including the Distribution Plan, request for attorneys’ fees, request for reimbursement of litigation expenses, and/or request for service awards), you must specify in writing all of your objections to the proposal and the basis for those objections, as well as: (i) the caption of this litigation (provided on page 3 of the Notice, available here); (ii) the name, address, and telephone number of the person or entity objecting and, if represented by a lawyer, of his or her lawyer; and (iii) a statement describing any purchases of Traditional Blood Reagents you made directly from Defendants from November 4, 2000 through October 19, 2015, including the dates and amounts of such purchases.

    Your objection must be filed no later than September 27, 2018 with the Clerk of Court, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, James A. Byrne United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, with copies mailed to Class Counsel (address provided in FAQ 12).

     At the Settlement Hearing described in FAQ 12, the Court will also consider whether Class Counsel’s proposed distribution (including the Distribution Plan, request for attorneys’ fees, request for reimbursement of litigation expenses, and/or request for service awards) is fair and should be approved. 

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  21. Where can I find additional information regarding the Ortho Settlement?

    For more information, please see the Notice on the Class Notice page found here and the court documents on the Court Documents page of this website.  You may also contact the Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation Claims Administrator by calling (855) 231-9423.

    DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR DEFENDANTS IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING THE NOTICE OR THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DIRECT THEM ONLY TO THE BLOOD REAGENTS ANTITRUST LITIGATION ADMINISTRATOR.

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  22. How do I get more information regarding the Immucor Settlement?

    Additional information relating to the Immucor Settlement Class can be found here or by calling (855) 231-9423.

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  23. How do I get more information regarding the Distribution Plan?

    For more information, please see page 6 of the Ortho Settlement Notice found on the Class Notice page here and the court documents on the Court Documents page here on this website.  You may also contact the Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation Claims Administrator by calling (855) 231-9423.

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