United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction
(“Motion to Dismiss”) (Doc. 10), filed by
Defendant Medtronic plc (“Medtronic plc”), and a
Motion for Leave to File Amended and Supplemental Petition
(“Motion for Leave to Amend”) (Doc. 12), filed by
pro se Plaintiffs Wiley Ezell and Sherri Ezell
(“Plaintiffs”). Plaintiffs oppose Medtronic
plc's Motion to Dismiss. (Docs. 16, 20). Medtronic plc
opposes Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend. (Doc. 21).
Motion for Leave to Amend should be granted under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(B). Medtronic plc's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 10) should be granted in part for lack of
personal jurisdiction over Medtronic plc, and denied in part
because Plaintiffs have shown a prima facie case of personal
jurisdiction as to Medtronic Vascular Galway.
February 9, 2017, Plaintiffs filed an action against
Medtronic plc in the Fourth Judicial District Court, Ouachita
Parish, State of Louisiana. (Doc. 1-1). Plaintiffs name as
Defendants Medtronic, PLC, and XYZ Insurance Company. (Doc.
1-1). Plaintiffs allege Medtronic plc is an international
company, which sells its products all over the world,
including Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. (Doc. 1-1).
Ezell (“Ezell”) alleges he was admitted as a
patient to Glenwood Regional Medical Center, West Monroe,
Louisiana, for a “left main to ramus percutaneous
coronary intervention with drug-eluting Medtronic
stent.” (Doc. 1-1). Plaintiffs allege Ezell was
re-admitted on February 11, 2016, at which time it was
discovered that the 2015 “Medtronic stent” had
fractured, resulting in failure of the device. (Doc. 1-1).
allege Medtronic plc is liable for failure to inform
consumers of the dangers associated with their stents, for
production and sale of faulty medical products, and for
failure to identify design flaws and issue timely recall.
(Doc. 1-1). Plaintiffs further allege that due to Medtronic
plc's negligence, Ezell had an emergent cardiac episode
necessitating replacement of a “Medtronic stent.”
(Doc. 1-1). Plaintiffs seek monetary damages, legal interest,
and all costs. (Doc. 1-1).
plc removed based upon diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1).
Medtronic plc alleges Plaintiffs' Complaint is a product
liability action stemming from the alleged use of a Medtronic
Resolute Integrity drug-eluting stent. (Doc. 1). Medtronic
plc is the parent company of Medtronic Vascular Galway
(Unlimited Company) (“Medtronic Vascular Galway”)
- the manufacturer of the drug-eluting stent Ezell received.
plc now seeks dismissal based on Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(2)
for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Doc. 10). Medtronic plc
argues it does not have sufficient minimum contacts with the
State of Louisiana for this Court to exercise personal
jurisdiction over Medtronic. (Doc. 10). In support, Medtronic
plc submitted the declaration of Anne Ziebell, Medtronic,
Inc.'s Senior Legal Program Manager, Corporate &
Securities. (Doc. 10-2).
responded seeking leave to file a First Amending and
Supplemental Petition for Damages under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15.
(Doc. 12). Plaintiffs also filed an opposition to Medtronic
plc's Motion to Dismiss, with supporting exhibits. (Docs.
Law and Analysis
Plaintiffs should be allowed to amend their complaint
under Rule 15(a)(1)(B).
seek to amend their Original Complaint following the filing
of Medtronic plc's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 12). In its
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10), Medtronic plc argues that if
Plaintiffs' allegations are true, Ezell obtained a
drug-eluting stent manufactured by Medtronic Vascular Galway,
its subsidiary. (Doc. 10).
response, Plaintiffs seek to re-urge their Original Complaint
against Medtronic plc, and amend and supplement to add
Medtronic Vascular Galway as a defendant. (Doc. 12-1).
Plaintiffs allege Medtronic Vascular Galway - the
manufacturer of the stent at issue - has sufficient minimum
contacts with the State of Louisiana to justify jurisdiction.
(Doc. 12-1). Plaintiffs allege Medtronic Vascular Galway is
also liable to Plaintiffs for failure to adequately inform
consumers of the dangers associated with their stents;
production and sale of faulty medical products; and failure
to identify design flaws and issue timely recall. (Doc. 12).
plc opposes the amendment as futile because the Court does
not have personal jurisdiction over Medtronic plc. (Doc. 21).
Medtronic plc argues that after providing Plaintiffs with the
correct manufacturer, “as expected, ” Plaintiffs
soon thereafter filed a Motion for Leave to Amend (Docs. 10,
19, 21). However, Medtronic plc expected Medtronic Vascular
Galway to be substituted as the proper defendant. (Doc. 19).
Medtronic plc takes issue with the fact that the pro se
Plaintiffs add Medtronic Vascular Galway as a party, but
maintain allegations against Medtronic plc. (Doc. 19).
Medtronic plc argues, in essence, that since the amendment
kept them as a Defendant, but did not assert any additional
jurisdictional facts as to Medtronic plc, the Court should
grant its Rule 12(b)(2) Motion to Dismiss and also deny
Plaintiffs' leave to amend. (Doc. 19). Medtronic plc does
not dispute that Medtronic Vascular Galway - the correct
manufacturer it provided for the stent at issue - is properly
named in the Plaintiffs' First Supplemental and Amending
Complaint. (Docs. 10, 19, 21).
to amend generally should be granted absent some
justification for refusal such as “undue delay, bad
faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated
failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of
allowance of the amendment, [or] futility of the
amendment.” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
(1962); see also Jacobsen v. Osborne, 133 F.3d 315,
318 (5th Cir. 1998). A district court “acts within its
discretion in denying leave to amend where the proposed
amendment would be futile because it could not survive a
motion to dismiss.” Rio Grande Royalty Co. v.
Energy Transfer Partners, LP, 620 F.3d 465, 468 (5th
when justice requires permission to amend rests within the
discretion of the trial court. Bisby v. Garza, 2008
WL 465320, at *1 (S.D. Tex. 2008) (citing Zenith Radio
Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330
(1971); Nilsen v. City of Moss Point, Miss., 621
F.2d 117, 122 (5th Cir. 1980)). However, joinder of
additional defendants in an action requires permission from
the court, and the defendants must be involved in the same
transaction or occurrence, with common questions of law or
fact, as the originally named defendants. Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule
20. In exercising its discretion in considering a motion to
amend a complaint, the district court may consider, among
other factors, undue delay, dilatory motive on the part of
the movant, and undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowing the amendment. Bisby, 2008 WL
465320, at *1 (citing Daves v. Payless Cashways,
Inc., 661 F.2d 1022, 1024 (5th Cir. 1981)).
Plaintiffs seek to timely amend their pleading within 21 days
after service of a Rule 12(b) motion. Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(1)(B). Plaintiffs can amend - without the court's
leave or the opposing party's consent - within the
earlier of 21 days after the defendant's answer or a Rule
12(b)(2) motion is served. See Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(1)(B). Rule 15(a) also provides that leave to amend
“shall be freely given when justice so requires.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Medtronic plc filed their Rule
12(b)(2) Motion ...