United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Antitrust — class actions — dismissal
It is not necessary to prove uniform price increases from a merger to prove an antitrust violation.
“Because of the importance of the issue for this case and for private antitrust enforcement, particularly with respect to hospitals and health care providers with complex pricing systems, we granted the petition for interlocutory appeal. We find that the district court’s conclusion that a lack of uniform price increases required denial of class certification was erroneous as a matter of both fact and law, resulting in a denial that we must find was an abuse of discretion. Although plaintiffs’ expert initially believed that Northshore did in fact increase its prices uniformly across all services, he acknowledged that it might not have done so, and he explained how his common methodology could show impact to the class despite such complications. Apart from the expert’s supposed concession, the degree of uniformity the district court demanded simply is not required for class certification under Rule 23(b)(3). In essence, it is important not to let a quest for perfect evidence become the enemy of good evidence.”
Vacated and Remanded.
10-2514 Messner v. Northshore University HealthSystem
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Lefkow, J., Hamilton, J.