A homeopathic product manufacturer made an over-the-counter flu remedy. The remedy was made by mixing 1% duck hearts and livers with 99% water, repeating the dilution process 200 times, and then selling the result in pill form. The manufacturer claimed that the remedy had a therapeutic effect on flu symptoms.
A man filed a claim against the homeopathic product manufacturer for deceptive marketing.
The manufacturer offered the man $5,025, which was more than the man could hope to win at trial. The man did not want to accept the money because it would moot the man’s claim. The manufacturer wanted to force the man to accept the settlement because it would moot the claim.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, granted the manufacturer’s motion to deposit $5,025 with the court in order to moot his claim. The manufacturer deposited the funds. The district court found the man’s claim moot and dismissed it.
The Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals reversed. The court held that the district court erred in dismissing the man’s claim as moot.
The district court erred in dismissing the man’s claim as moot. A defendant’s act of depositing with the court an amount that (if accepted) would fully satisfy a plaintiff’s claim does not render the plaintiff’s case moot. Federal courts have an array of tools for the person who abuses the litigation process, but the tools do not include deemed acceptance of a proposed offer of settlement. The district court erred in concluding that the passage of time meant that the man no longer had the legal right to reject the manufacturer’s offer of settlement.
The Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of the man’s claim as moot.
See: Conrad v. Boiron, Inc., 2017 WL 3623960 (C.A.7 (Ill.), August 24, 2017) (not designated for publication).
See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Practitioner Liability
Medical Law Perspectives Report: Drugs, Dosage, and Damage: Physician Liability for Prescribing or Administering Medication