Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ezell v. Medtronic PLC

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

February 6, 2018

WILEY EZELL, ET AL., Plaintiffs
v.
MEDTRONIC PLC, ET AL., Defendants

          JUDGE JAMES

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before 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).

         Plaintiffs' 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.

         I. Background

         On 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.[1] (Doc. 1-1).

         Wiley 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).

         Plaintiffs 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).

         Medtronic plc removed based upon diversity jurisdiction.[2] (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. (Doc. 10-1).

         Medtronic 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).

         Plaintiffs 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. 16, 20).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Plaintiffs should be allowed to amend their complaint under Rule 15(a)(1)(B).

         Plaintiffs 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).

         In 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).

         Medtronic 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).

         Leave 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 Cir. 2010).

         Determining 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)).

         Here, 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.