Justia Health Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery
In Re Covid-Related Restrictions On Religious Services
The Court of Chancery dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction this case brought by Plaintiffs, two religious leaders, challenging restrictions that the Governor imposed on houses of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, holding that Plaintiffs failed to show any basis for relief.Plaintiffs asserted that they suffered harm as a result of the challenged restrictions and that the restrictions triggered, but could not survive, strict scrutiny. Plaintiffs sought as a remedy a declaration that the challenged restrictions were unconstitutional and a permanent injunction prohibiting the Governor from implementing similar restrictions in the future. The Court of Chancery granted the Governor's motion to dismiss, holding that Plaintiffs did not establish a reasonable apprehension that the Governor would engage in conduct that would warrant a permanent injunction and therefore did not make the necessary showing. View "In Re Covid-Related Restrictions On Religious Services" on Justia Law
DeMarco v. Christiana Care Health Services, Inc.
The Court of Chancery denied a request for an injunction to compel a healthcare provider to treat a hospitalized COVID-19 patient with ivermectin, holding that Plaintiff failed to show she was entitled to the relief she sought and failed to identify any established right that would entitle her to such relief.When a COVID-19 patient was admitted to the hospital for the virus, the patient requested to be treated with ivermectin. The request was denied. Plaintiff, the patient's wife, obtained a prescription from a doctor, but the hospital refused to administer the ivermectin prescription. Plaintiff filed a verified complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief requiring the hospital to administer the prescribed ivermectin. The Court of Chancery held that patients do not have a right to a particular treatment, and medical providers have a duty to treat in accordance with their standard of care. Because ivermectin was not part of the standard of care for the COVID-19 virus, Plaintiff was not entitled to relief. View "DeMarco v. Christiana Care Health Services, Inc." on Justia Law
Rinnier v. Gracelawn Memorial Park, Inc.
Petitioner filed a petition to disinter the body of her daughter, believing Respondent, her daughter’s widower, murdered her daughter. Petitioner sought evidence to substantiate this belief via the disinterment and a subsequent autopsy. The daughter lived and died in Florida but was buried in a Delaware cemetery. The Court of Chancery denied the petition to disinter, holding (1) Petitioner’s exceptions to the Master’s Final Report recommending denying Petitioner’s petition were untimely and unavailing; and (2) Petitioner failed to meet the standard for exhumation by demonstrating to a reasonable certainty that disinterment will be of utility. View "Rinnier v. Gracelawn Memorial Park, Inc." on Justia Law
PharmAthene, Inc. v. SIGA Technologies, Inc.
On October 4th, SIGA moved for reargument to the remedy ordered in a September 22 Opinion. SIGA contended that the court misapplied the law and misunderstood material facts in awarding PharmAthene an equitable lien on a share of future profits derived from a biodefense pharmaceutical known as ST-246. The court held that it did not misapprehend the law of remedies by imposing an equitable remedy reasonably designed to compensate PharmAthene for its lost expectancy; SIGA had not shown that the September 22 Opinion was the product of either a misapplication of law or a misunderstanding of material fact; and the legal and equitable basis for the structure of the equitable payment stream was the court's authority to provide relief "as justice and good conscience may require" and to remedy in equity what otherwise would amount to unjust enrichment. Accordingly, the court denied SIGA's motion for reargument.
PharmAthene, Inc. v. SIGA Technologies, Inc.
This action arose out of a dispute between two companies involved in the development of pharmaceuticals. Plaintiff was a biodefense company engaged in the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures against biological and chemical weapons and defendant was also a biodefense company that concentrated on the discovery and development of oral antiviral and antibacterial drugs to treat, prevent, and complement vaccines for high-threat biowarfare agents. The court rejected plaintiff's claim that defendant breached a binding license agreement, but found that defendant did breach its obligations to negotiate in good faith and that defendant was liable to plaintiff under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. The court rejected defendant's claim that plaintiff breached its obligation to negotiate in good faith. The court denied plaintiff's claims for specific performance of a license agreement with the terms set forth in the time sheet or, alternatively, for a lump sum award of its expectation damages. The court concluded, however, that plaintiff was entitled to share in any profits relied on from the sale of the drug in question, after an adjustment for the upfront payments it likely would have had to make had the parties negotiated in good faith a license agreement in accordance with the terms of the term sheet. In addition, plaintiff was entitled to recover from defendant a portion of the attorneys' fees and expenses plaintiff incurred in pursuing the action.