Petition for Writ of Mandamus Moot

The concept of mootness applies to a writ of mandamus. “A case is moot when there is no real controversy and it seeks to determine an abstract question which does not rest on existing facts or rights. . . . This same principle holds with respect to petitions for writ of mandamus.” Ex parte Novartis Phar. Corp., No. 1070312 (Ala. April 18, 2008)(emphasis supplied).

The State of Alabama asserted tort claims against a number of pharmaceutical companies, alleging that it paid too much for Medicaid prescription drugs because the companies purportedly used improper pricing procedures. The trial court consolidated the claims against three of the defendants for trial. The companies challenged the order in a petition for writ of mandamus. While the petition was pending, the trial court allowed the State of Alabama to try its claims against one of the companies. The Alabama Supreme Court found that the trial rendered the mandamus petition moot as to that defendant. The Court examined the merits of the writ petition as it pertained to the other two defendants and ultimately denied the petition.