Richards Layton & Finger
 

Judge Andrews Denies Motion to Continue

January 13, 2017

In Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al. v. Actavis Inc., et al., C.A. No. 14-1381-RGA (D. Del. Dec. 8, 2016) (ORDER), Judge Andrews denied the plaintiffs’ motion to continue trial. The plaintiffs sought to continue trial so they could plead claim and issue preclusion, take discovery, move for summary judgment, and add Teva Pharmaceuticals (“Teva”) as a defendant. Teva had acquired the defendant, Actavis Inc. (“Actavis”), and the two companies filed ANDAs for generic drugs that purportedly infringed the plaintiffs’ patents.

The plaintiffs argued that because the Court had ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor on the issue of invalidity in Teva’s case, then Teva cannot relitigate invalidity as the controlling company of Actavis. The plaintiffs requested additional discovery to determine the relationship between Teva, Actavis and the “Actavis ANDA.”

Judge Andrews determined that there was “good cause” to permit the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint, limited to the issues raised in the plaintiffs’ letter to the Court. The Court also permitted additional discovery related to Teva’s acquisition of Actavis. Judge Andrews denied the plaintiffs’ motion to continue and found that a four-day trial limited to the validity of six claims of one patent was “grossly excessive.” The Court stated that the trial should last seven to ten hours. Additionally, Judge Andrews held that the issues of claim and issue preclusion should be addressed in post-trial briefing.

Key Points:  Judge Andrews may grant a motion to amend a complaint and additional discovery when there is a change in the relationship between parties.