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Rahimi v. Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 23, 2018

AZAM RAHIMI and RADIF RASHID, Plaintiffs,
v.
ZYDUS PHARMACEUTICALS USA INC., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          HON. BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI United States District Judge

         Before this Court is a Motion for Reconsideration filed by Defendant Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. (“Zydus”) (ECF No. 156), seeking reconsideration of the Court's April 26, 2017 Opinion and Order (ECF Nos. 153 and 154), which granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs Azam Rahimi (“Rahimi”) and Radif Rashid's (“Rashid, ” collectively “Relators”) First Amended Complaint (First Am. Compl. (ECF No. 9)). Relators oppose the Motion. (ECF No. 180.) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b), no oral argument was heard. For the reasons set forth herein, Zydus's Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. Background

         The underlying facts are set forth at length in the Court's April 25, 2017 Opinion (ECF No. 153), from which Zydus seeks reconsideration. In the interest of judicial economy, the Court refers the parties to that Opinion for a full recitation of the factual and procedural background of this dispute.

         II. Legal Standard

         While not expressly authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, motions for reconsideration are proper pursuant to this District's Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). See Dunn v. Reed Group, Inc., Civ. No. 08-1632, 2010 WL 174861, at *1 (D.N.J. Jan 13, 2010). The comments to that Rule make clear, however, that “reconsideration is an extraordinary remedy that is granted ‘very sparingly.'” L.Civ.R. 7.1(i) cmt. 6(d) (quoting Brackett v. Ashcroft, Civ. No. 03-3988, 2003 WL 22303078, *2 (D.N.J. Oct. 7, 2003)); see also Langan Eng'g & Envtl. Servs., Inc. v. Greenwich Ins. Co., Civ. No. 07-2983, 2008 WL 4330048, at *1 (D.N.J. Sept. 17, 2008) (explaining that a motion for reconsideration under Rule 7.1(i) is “‘an extremely limited procedural vehicle, ' and requests pursuant to th[is] rule[] are to be granted ‘sparingly'”) (citation omitted); Fellenz v. Lombard Investment Corp., 400 F.Supp.2d 681, 683 (D.N.J. 2005).

         A motion for reconsideration “may not be used to re-litigate old matters, nor to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.” P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt., LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F.Supp.2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001). Instead, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) directs a party seeking reconsideration to file a brief “setting forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked.” L. Civ. R. 7.1(i)[1]; see also Bowers v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 130 F.Supp.2d 610, 612 (D.N.J. 2001) (“The word ‘overlooked' is the operative term in the Rule.”).

         To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, the moving party must show at least one of the following grounds: “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court [made its initial decision]; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.” Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); see also N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance, Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995) (internal quotations omitted). A court commits clear error of law “only if the record cannot support the findings that led to the ruling.” ABS Brokerage Servs. v. Penson Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 09-4590, 2010 WL 3257992, at *6 (D.N.J. Aug. 16, 2010) (citing United States v. Grape, 549 F.3d 591, 603-04 (3d Cir. 2008) “Thus, a party must . . . demonstrate that (1) the holdings on which it bases its request were without support in the record, or (2) would result in ‘manifest injustice' if not addressed.” Id. Moreover, when the assertion is that the Court overlooked something, the Court must have overlooked some dispositive factual or legal matter that was presented to it. See L.Civ.R. 7.1(i).

         In short, “[m]ere ‘disagreement with the Court's decision' does not suffice.” ABS Brokerage Servs., 2010 WL 3257992, at *6. (quoting P. Schoenfeld, 161 F.Supp.2d at 353); see also United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F.Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999) (“Mere disagreement with a court's decision normally should be raised through the appellate process and is inappropriate on a motion for [reconsideration].”); Florham Park Chevron, Inc. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 680 F.Supp. 159, 163 (D.N.J. 1988); Schiano v. MBNA Corp., Civ. No. 05-1771, 2006 WL 3831225, at *2 (D.N.J. Dec. 28, 2006) (“Mere disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show that the Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law, . . . and should be dealt with through the normal appellate process. . . .”) (citations omitted).

         III. Decision

         In their Motion for Reconsideration, Zydus asks the Court to reconsider its decision partially denying its motion to dismiss. Specifically, Zydus argues: (1) Relators have not complied with Rule 9(b); (2) Relators' claims are time barred; and (3) Relators lack standing to proceed with their State False Claim Act (“FCA”) claims. (ECF No. 156-1 at 20.) The Court will address Zydus's challenges in turn.

         In its prior Opinion, the Court denied Zydus's motion to dismiss each of Relators' federal and State FCA claims for failing to allege presentment. (ECF No. 152 at 20-24.) Counts I-III of the First Amended Complaint assert causes of action under 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a), alleging Zydus: (1) knowingly caused a false or fraudulent claim to be presented to the government for payment or approval, in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729(a)(1) and (a)(1)(A); (2) knowingly made or used or caused false records or statements, and omitted material facts, to get such false or fraudulent claims paid by the government, or that were material to false or fraudulent claims presented to the government, in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729(a) and (a)(1)(B); and (3) conspired with its retail pharmacy customers by offering these customers significantly lower prices for the Generic Drugs as an inducement, while Zydus reported false and fraudulent prices to the Publishers knowing Medicaid relied on such prices to establish reimbursement rates, in violation of the AKS. (See ECF No. 9.) By agreeing to the financial incentive of this price spread scheme, Relators allege Zydus and its retail pharmacy customers caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims to Medicaid, in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729(a)(3) and (a)(1)(C). (Id.) In addition to their federal FCA claims, Relators also bring causes of action under the false claims acts of 28 States and the District of Columbia.[2] (Id. at 47-126.)

         Relying, in part, on Exhibits 3 through 12 to the First Amended Complaint, the Court concluded:

Exhibits 3 through 12 to the [First Amended Complaint], which are claims submitted by Rashid to New York Medicaid, all clearly show the reported AWP. (See, e.g., ECF No. 9 at Ex. 3 (listing Blue Book's published AWP next to “BBAWP, ” or “Blue Book Average Wholesale Price”.)[)] Thus, the claims and invoices attached to the [First ...

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