While we have come a long way, we know we still have a long way to go. Fighting multi-billion dollar corporations is no easy matter for the little guy. Patience and persistence will eventually force these companies to face their illegal actions in a Maryland courtroom. Today reinforces that reality.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (PRWEB) February 16, 2006
Compass Marketing Inc., plaintiff in a $65 million civil lawsuit against pharmaceuticals companies Wyeth and Schering-Plough, announced today that the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of Compass Marketing in a matter that will have positive ramifications on criminal and civil matters throughout the state (docket number04cv1663-AMD). In the opinion, the Court of Appeals found that Maryland recognizes the conspiracy theory of jurisdiction as a matter of state law. This new law not only enlarges the jurisdiction for civil cases but also allows the Maryland Attorney General to prosecute criminal co-conspirators, for conspiracy acts in Maryland even if the criminal co-conspirators do not live in the state. Thus, out-of-state drug lords and white-collar criminals are now within the purview of the Maryland judicial system. Maryland joins 10 other states that now recognize conspiracy jurisdiction, a fast growing segment of the law in the wake of recent corporate wrongdoing at ENRON and WorldCom.
The Compass Marketing case is currently in United States District Court in Baltimore before Judge Andre Davis. Two of the defendants in the civil lawsuit, Schering-Plough Sr. Vice President James Mackey, and former Wyeth Director Sam Severino are attempting to dismiss themselves as defendants claiming that the State of Maryland does not have jurisdiction over them for the alleged bad acts occurring in Maryland. The companies themselves do not dispute jurisdiction.
Under Maryland antitrust law, it is illegal for companies to agree to set prices. The Maryland Attorney General's Office, at the request of the Speaker of the House, Delegate Michael Busch, is currently reviewing the matter.
John White, CEO and President of Compass Marketing, stated, "While it has been extremely costly in both time and money to take on these giant pharmaceuticals, I felt as though it was not only important to my case but also to thousands of Maryland small businesses and all Maryland citizens.
"Prior to my lawsuit, under Maryland law, a co-conspirator who did not have contacts in Maryland was beyond Maryland's jurisdiction. Out of state drug dealers or corporate executives of giant pharmaceutical companies were immune to legal action in Maryland as long as they personally did not have any contact with Maryland, even though they or their company may have otherwise participated in the tortuous or illegal behavior affecting Maryland."
Mr. White went on to say, "While we have come a long way, we know we still have a long way to go. Fighting multi-billion dollar corporations is no easy matter for the little guy. Patience and persistence will eventually force these companies to face their illegal actions in a Maryland courtroom. Today reinforces that reality."
Compass Marketing's lawsuit against Wyeth and Schering-Plough dates back to alleged acts beginning in 2001 and includes; allegations of violations of the federal antitrust law (The Sherman Act) for price fixing and conspiracy to fix prices, allegations of violations of the Maryland antitrust law for illegal conspiracy and price fixing, and allegations of tortuous and intentional interference with business and contractual relations. Mr. White states that, "the notification from both pharmaceutical companies on the same exact day in letters written to our company clearly supports the price fixing allegations."
Compass Marketing, Inc. (http://www.compassmarketinginc.com), headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, is owned by John White, and two brothers: Daniel White and Michael White. Compass Marketing is an expert in sales, marketing and distribution for many of America's top companies including Pepperidge Farms, Johnson & Johnson, Gillette, Campbell's Soup Co., McCormick, Spice Co., Unilever, and Delmonte.
SOURCE Compass Marketing Inc.
CONTACT: Eileen Burgess of Compass Marketing, Inc., +1-410-268-0030