The State AG Report - Volume 7, Issue 46

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51 Attorneys General Urge FCC to Implement Stronger Barriers Against Robocallers

  • The National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) sent a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) in support of its efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers to make unending robocalls and scam people out of money.
  • The comment letter, signed by 51 AGs, notes that robocallers successfully evade caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers through the provision of false identifying information to companies that furnish the phone numbers. The comment letter voices support for the FCC’s proposal to require these phone companies to verify their customers’ identities in order to keep legitimate numbers from ending up in the hands of robocallers.
  • As previously reported, in August 2021, NAAG sent a comment letter to the FCC urging it to move up the deadline for certain smaller telephone companies to implement mandated anti-robocall ID authentication technology known as STIR/SHAKEN pursuant to the TRACED Act.

Former Impeachment Prosecutor Enters 2022 Race for New York Attorney General

  • Daniel Goldman, former federal prosecutor and counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment investigation of former President Donald Trump, announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2022 open-seat race for New York attorney general. He will compete against Zephyr Teachout, a law professor who previously ran for New York AG against Letitia James in 2018.
  • Incumbent democratic AG Letitia James is running for New York governor.
  • To “meet” the state AGs across the nation and read more AG election news and insights, visit The State AG Report.

‘Tis the Season for New Candidates to Jump into Attorneys General Races

  • Former prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and current U.S. Army Reserve intelligence officer Abraham Hamadeh joined a crowded field of candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2022 open-seat race for Arizona attorney general. As previously reported, other Republican candidates include (i) Lacy Cooper, a former Border Patrol section chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office; (ii) Rodney Glassman, a lawyer and member of the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps; (iii) Andrew Gould, a former Arizona Supreme Court justice; (iv) Dawn Grove, VP and corporate counsel at Karsten Manufacturing Company (parent company of golf club company PING); and (v) Tiffany Shedd, a private-practice attorney and farmer. Incumbent Republican AG Mark Brnovich is term-limited from seeking reelection and is running for the U.S. Senate.
  • In another race, longtime D.C. private practice attorney Bruce Spiva announced a run for the Democratic nomination in the 2022 open-seat race for District of Columbia attorney general. As previously reported, other Democratic candidates include D.C. private practice attorney Ryan Jones and District of Columbia Council member Kenyan McDuffie. Incumbent AG Karl Racine will not seek a third term in office.

Taking Care of the Caretakers: New York AG Recovers Millions in Wages for Home Care Aides

  • New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with home care health agencies Intergen Health, LLC and Amazing Home Care Services, LLC (collectively “Agencies”) to resolve allegations that they failed to pay appropriate wages for years in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act as well as New York Labor Laws and the New York City Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law.
  • According to the assurance of discontinuance, the AG’s office’s investigation found that approximately 12,000 employees were impacted by the Agencies’ failures to pay correct overtime wages and additional compensation for shifts longer than ten-hours, pay for unscheduled short shifts, pay for employees’ travel time between assignments, pay “joint employer” overtime to workers who worked for both Agencies, and pay appropriate compensation for live-in workers.
  • Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, the Agencies agreed to compensate affected workers through a total payout of up to $18.8 million, to be distributed in two phases, which consists of restitution, compensation, and attorneys’ fees. In addition, the Agencies agreed to revise their policies and procedures to comply with New York Labor Law and NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, inform employees of their rights, and report to the AG’s office about any changes to policies and procedures for a period of two years, among other things.

Attorneys General Challenge Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

  • A group of ten AGs, led by Missouri AG Eric Schmitt and Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, sued the Biden administration over the legality and constitutionality of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (“the Vaccine Mandate”).
  • The complaint alleges that the Vaccine Mandate is an unprecedented federal imposition on healthcare workers regardless of their employment status and across a wide range of healthcare facilities, and that it threatens to exacerbate shortages of an already depleted healthcare workforce.
  • The complaint argues that the Vaccine Mandate is arbitrary and capricious, exceeds the authority of the CMS, and was issued without the required consultations with state agencies or the required regulatory impact analysis. The complaint further argues that the Vaccine Mandate is a violation of the Tenth Amendment and federalism, among other things. The complaint therefore seeks preliminarily and permanently enjoining the imposition of the Vaccine Mandate, setting aside the Vaccine Mandate, and other declaratory relief.
  • A group of 12 Republican AGs, led by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry and Montana AG Austin Knudsen, also sued the Biden administration over the Vaccine Mandate, filing a substantially similar complaint to the one in the Missouri and Nebraska-led suit.

Attorneys General Challenge Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

  • A group of ten AGs, led by Missouri AG Eric Schmitt and Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, sued the Biden administration over the legality and constitutionality of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (“the Vaccine Mandate”).
  • The complaint alleges that the Vaccine Mandate is an unprecedented federal imposition on healthcare workers regardless of their employment status and across a wide range of healthcare facilities, and that it threatens to exacerbate shortages of an already depleted healthcare workforce.
  • The complaint argues that the Vaccine Mandate is arbitrary and capricious, exceeds the authority of the CMS, and was issued without the required consultations with state agencies or the required regulatory impact analysis. The complaint further argues that the Vaccine Mandate is a violation of the Tenth Amendment and federalism, among other things. The complaint therefore seeks preliminarily and permanently enjoining the imposition of the Vaccine Mandate, setting aside the Vaccine Mandate, and other declaratory relief.
  • A group of 12 Republican AGs, led by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry and Montana AG Austin Knudsen, also sued the Biden administration over the Vaccine Mandate, filing a substantially similar complaint to the one in the Missouri and Nebraska-led suit.

Potential for Future Competitive Harm Results in Divestiture Requirement for Generic Drug Company Acquisition

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with generic drug companies ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“ANI”) and Novitium Pharma LLC (“Novitium”), as well as Novitium’s parent company, to resolve allegations that ANI’s acquisition of Novitium would cause future harm to competition in markets for two generic medications in violation of the FTC Act and the Clayton Act.
  • The FTC’s complaint alleged that both ANI and Novitium have products in development relating to generic dexamethasone tablets, an oral steroid used to treat inflammation, including inflammation associated with COVID-19 infections, and that the acquisition eliminate a potential entrant and harm future competition in a market with only two current participants. The complaint further alleges that ANI currently sells an oral suspension of generic sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (SMX-TMP), an antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections, and that, prior to the acquisition, Novitium was well positioned to enter the market, but that the acquisition will stop Novitium’s plans to compete in this market.
  • Under the terms of the consent order, among other things, ANI agreed to divest to Prasco LLC its development rights in generic SMX-TMP and also assets with respect to dexamethasone. According to the FTC, the settlement preserves future competition in two generic pharmaceutical markets by ensuring that ongoing product development efforts for both drugs are in the hands of companies with an incentive to enter the market.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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