09.01.2010 Third Circuit Revives the In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation
09.01.2010On August 16, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in the In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, reversing Judge Brown’s dismissal of the case and breathing new life into plaintiffs’ class action antitrust conspiracy claims. While the Court’s 200-page opinion agrees with Judge Brown’s decision to dismiss most of plaintiffs’ claims, the Court reversed the lower court on the issue of whether plaintiffs had adequately pled a conspiracy between Marsh and the insurers with whom it had entered into contingent commission agreements. As to that claim, plaintiffs’ allegation that those insurers had also agreed not to compete for each other’s incumbent business with Marsh were supported by sufficient factual allegations to satisfy the requirements of Twombly (unlike plaintiffs’ other claims) and had to be reinstated. Accordingly, unless an en banc panel of the Third Circuit disturbs the Court’s ruling, or the defendants can persuade the Supreme Court to review the decision (which seems unlikely), the defendants will soon be returning to the District of New Jersey to resume discovery and further litigation.
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