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In re Stryker Rejuvenate and Abg II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

December 12, 2013

In re: STRYKER REJUVENATE AND ABG II HIP IMPLANT PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
v.
Stryker Corporation, Stryker Sales Corporation, Stryker Orthopaedics, Mercy Hospital, Dignity Health, and Does 1-100, Defendants. This Document Relates to David Akin, Plaintiff, MDL No. 13-2441 (DWF/FLN)

James R. Donahue, Esq., Leonard Sandoval, Esq., and Stephen J. Mackey, Esq., Donahue Davies LLP; Jeffrey C. Sevey, Esq., and Matthew P. Donahue, Esq., Sevey, Donahue & Talcott, LLP; and Michael Edward Myers, Esq., Caulfield, Davies & Donahue, counsel for Plaintiff.

Timothy P. Griffin, Esq., Leonard, Street and Deinard, PA; Rafael A. Campillo, Esq., Nicholas Andrew Weiss, Esq., Wayne A. Wolff, Esq., and Karen E. Woodward, Esq., Sedgwick LLP, counsel for Defendants Stryker Corporation, and Stryker Sales Corporation.

Pamela Ferguson, Esq., and Talia L. Delanoy, Esq., Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, counsel for Defendants Mercy Hospital and Dignity Health.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 13). For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion with respect to Defendants Mercy Hospital and Dignity Health (together, the "Hospital Defendants") and denies the motion with respect to Defendants Stryker Corporation ("Stryker"), Stryker Sales Corporation (together, the "Stryker Defendants"), and Stryker Orthopaedics.[1]

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff initiated this action in Sacramento County Superior Court asserting thirteen causes of action against the above-named Defendants arising from an allegedly defective Stryker Rejuvenate Hip System implant. (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 21-106.) Plaintiff asserts the following claims against all Defendants: (1) Negligence; (2) Strict Liability-Manufacturing Defect; (3) Strict Liability-Design Defect; (4) Strict Liability-Failure to Warn; (5) Strict Liability-Failure to Adequately Test; (6) Strict Liability-Breach of Express Warranty; (7) Strict Liability-Breach of Implied Warranty; (8) Strict Liability-Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose; (9) Fraudulent Concealment; (10) Intentional Misrepresentation; (11) Negligent Misrepresentation; (12) Strict Liability-Negligence-Recall; and (13) Unlawful, Unfair, and Fraudulent Business Practices in Violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200, et seq. ( Id. ) On June 19, 2013, Stryker removed the action to this Court, citing diversity of citizenship between the parties and an amount in controversy greater than $75, 000. (Doc. No. 1 at 1-2.) Plaintiff now moves the Court to remand this action to the state court from which it was removed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), a defendant may remove "any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction... to the district court of the United States...." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). A party opposing removal may bring a motion requesting that the federal court remand the case back to state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The district court shall remand the case back to state court if it determines that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., 546 U.S. 132, 134 (2005). On a motion to remand, the party seeking removal and opposing remand bears the burden of demonstrating federal jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., 591 F.3d 613, 620 (8th Cir. 2010); In re Bus. Men's Assur. Co. of Am., 992 F.2d 181, 183 (8th Cir. 1993). The federal court should resolve any doubt as to the propriety of removal in favor of remand. Prempro, 591 F.3d at 620; Bus. Men's Assur., 992 F.2d at 183.

II. Motion to Remand

At the heart of Plaintiff's motion is the argument that, because the Court lacks original jurisdiction over the matter, this case must be remanded. Plaintiff essentially claims that Stryker had no right to remove pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) on the basis of diversity of citizenship because the Hospital Defendants, like Plaintiff, are citizens of California. ( See Compl. ¶¶ 1, 5.)

Here, given that the Hospital Defendants are based in California, diversity of citizenship appears to be incomplete on the face of the Complaint. Stryker Defendants and the Hospital Defendants assert, however, that removal was appropriate nonetheless because ...


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