United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., and Medtronic, Inc., Plaintiffs,
Patrick B. Gannon, Defendant.
Jonathan S. Parritz, Melissa R. Muro LaMere, Wayne S.
Moskowitz, and William Z. Pentelovitch, Maslon LLP, for
Anthony Barrett Haller and Leigh Ann Buziak, Blank Rome LLP,
Mary L. Knoblauch, Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie PA,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Expedited Motion to Stay Remand
Order Pending Appeal [Doc. No. 42] (“Motion to
Stay”). For the reasons set forth herein,
Defendant's motion is denied.
procedural background of this case is detailed in the
Court's opinion granting Plaintiffs' motion to
remand. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. v. Gannon, No.
17-cv-943, 2017 WL 4685041 (D. Minn. Oct. 16, 2017). Briefly
restated, Defendant Patrick Gannon (“Gannon”)
left his employment with Plaintiffs Medtronic, Inc.,
Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., and Medtronic Sofamor Danek
USA, Inc. (collectively “Medtronic”) and returned
to his prior employer, DePuy Spine. (Notice of Removal, Ex.
1, pt. 1 [Doc. No. 1-1], at 23.) Medtronic brought suit in
Anoka County District Court, raising several claims against
Gannon and DePuy Spine. (Id. at 43-45.) The parties
settled all claims but one, leaving Gannon the only remaining
defendant. (Id., pt. 3 [Doc. No. 1-3], at 115-123.)
the dismissal of DePuy Spine from the case, Gannon removed to
this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Notice of
Removal [Doc. No. 1].) He then moved to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction, and further moved for dismissal based
on improper venue or transfer to the federal district court
for the District of Massachusetts. (See Def.'s
Mem. in Supp. of Renewed Notice of Mot. to Dismiss for Lack
of Personal Jurisdiction and Improper Venue, or, in the
Alternative, to Transfer [Doc. No. 6] (“Def.'s Mem.
in Supp.”), at 1.) Medtronic moved to remand to Anoka
County District Court. (See Mem. in Supp. of
Pl.'s Mot. to Remand to Anoka County District Court [Doc.
No. 15] (“Pl.'s Mem. in Supp.”), at 1-2.)
remand motion was based upon a forum selection clause in one
of three contractual documents that Gannon executed at the
beginning of his employment. See Medtronic, 2017 WL
4685041, at *3. Gannon argued that Medtronic's claim
against him arose from a different contract and that the
forum selection clause should not be read to apply to this
dispute. Id. The Court considered the parties'
arguments and ruled, based on well-settled principles of
contract law, that the three contractual documents should be
read together as one employment contract. Id. at
*3-5. Accordingly, the Court found that the forum selection
clause applied to this employment dispute and that Gannon had
waived his right to remove to federal court. Id. at
*5. The Court granted Medtronic's motion and ordered
remand to Anoka County District Court. Id.
now moves for a stay of the Court's remand order pending
his appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Motion to
Stay; Def. Patrick Gannon's Mem. in Supp. of Expedited
Mot. to Stay Remand Or. Pending Appeal [Doc. No. 44]
(“Def.'s Mem.”), at 1.) He argues that a stay
is warranted because his appeal raises substantial and
important legal questions about the Eighth Circuit's
“clear and unequivocal” standard for waiver of
the right to remand, and because proceeding with the case in
Anoka County District Court would cause him irreparable harm.
(Def.'s Mem., at 7-15.)
orders remanding a case to the state court from which it was
removed are not reviewable. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d). A
narrow exception applies for orders of remand not based on a
procedural defect in the removal process or on a lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Things Remembered, Inc. v.
Petrarca, 516 U.S. 124, 127-28 (1995). Thus, there is no
question that this Court's order of remand to Anoka
County District Court, based upon a forum selection clause,
is appealable to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. See
Pub. Sch. Ret. Sys. of Mo. v. State St. Bank & Tr.
Co., 640 F.3d 821, 825 (8th Cir. 2011). Federal Rule of
Appellate Procedure 8(a)(1) requires that a motion to stay an
order pending appeal must first be made in the district
considering a motion to stay an order pending appeal, the
Court considers four factors: “(1) whether the stay
applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be
irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of
the stay will substantially injure the other parties
interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public
interest lies.” Brady v. Nat'l Football
League, 640 F.3d 785, 789 (8th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776
(1987)).“The most important factor is the
appellant's likelihood of success on the merits.”
Brady, 640 F.3d at 789. The party seeking a stay
bears the burden of establishing its propriety. See Fargo
Women's Health Org. v. Schafer, 18 F.3d 526, 538
(8th Cir. 1994). “A stay is not a matter of right, even
if irreparable injury might otherwise result.” Nken
v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433 (2009) (quoting
Virginian Ry. Co. v. United States, 272 U.S. 658,
672 (1926)). “It is instead ‘an exercise of
judicial discretion, ' and ‘[t]he propriety of its
issue is dependent upon the circumstances of the particular
case.'” Id. (quoting Virginian,
272 U.S. at 672-73).
Likelihood of Success on the Merits
argues that his appeal raises a substantial legal question as
to the application of the Eighth Circuit's “clear
and unequivocal” standard for waiver of the right to
remand. (Def.'s Mem., at 7.) Gannon asserts that this
Court incorrectly applied a less stringent standard when it
looked to contract principles and extrinsic evidence to
determine whether the three contractual ...