On February 21, 2017, KHIP client Thrifty PayLess, Inc. (dba Rite Aid) prevailed in its defense of plaintiffs’ appeal of a trial court order granting Rite Aid’s Anti-SLAPP motion.  The case concerned an attempt by Plaintiffs to fill prescriptions at a San Leandro, California pharmacy.  The pharmacist on duty found the prescriptions suspicious, since the patients lived in Modesto, received the prescriptions from a physician in Fresno, and were attempting to fill the prescriptions in San Leandro.  Due to red flags raised pursuant to California’s “corresponding responsibility” regulations, the pharmacist called the police.

The lawsuit followed, where the patients claimed their rights to privacy were violated.  Rite Aid’s attorneys, Jonathan Klein and Michael Early, filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed on a special motion to strike.  In that motion, Rite Aid alleged that the plaintiff’s case arose from protected activity — that is, an act in furtherance of the right to free speech, and that plaintiffs could not establish their claims were both legally sufficient and supported by a prima facie showing of facts that could result in a favorable judgment.  (Oasis West Realty, LLC v. Goldman (2011) 51 Cal.4th 811, 820.)

The trial court agreed, but plaintiffs appealed.  However, the Court of Appeals for the First Appellate District, Division Four, agreed with Rite Aid and the trial court, and affirmed the dismissal of the case.  Read the Final Opinion.  Congratulations to Jonathan Allan Klein and Michael Early for the victory.