The decision allows the case to move forward and the discovery process to begin.
An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has sided with SmileDirectClub, rejecting the Georgia Dental Board’s attempt to shield itself from antitrust liability through an interlocutory appeal.
Both the Georgia Dental Board and the Alabama Dental Board had sought immediate appeals of lower court decisions in SmileDirectClub’s favor.
Susan Greenspon Rammelt, the company’s chief legal officer and executive vice president of business affairs, issued a statement following the decision, “SmileDirectClub is pleased with the appellate court’s decision and that discovery can now proceed so that we can get to the merits of this case. We are grateful for the support of the FTC and DOJ in this matter and look forward to a similar ruling in connection with the Alabama Dental Board’s appeal of a lower court ruling in our favor. While we take no pleasure in disputes with dental boards, we cannot and will not let anticompetitive conduct interfere with our mission to democratize access to care.”
The Georgia case is part of the SmileDirectClub’s multi-state legal battle against regulations that effectively ban the company’s direct-to-consumer, web-based business model.