United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
IN RE TAXOTERE (DOCETAXEL) PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION This document relates to: Patsy Hays, 16-17540
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Patsy Hays's Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. 2340). Plaintiff seeks relief from the
Court's “Order on Responses to Show Cause No. 2,
” issued on April 20, 2018 (Doc. 2302). The Order
dismissed her claim with prejudice for failure to comply with
Show Cause Order No. 2. Defendants oppose the Motion. For the
following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED.
Patsy Hays filed her complaint in this matter on December 16,
2016.She passed away on March 23, 2017.
According to her Motion, Plaintiff's counsel then began
working with Plaintiff's daughters to obtain the medical
records necessary to complete Hays's Plaintiff Fact Sheet
(“PFS”). Counsel explains that their efforts were
stymied when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston on August 25, 2017.
November 15, 2017, Hays was identified in an exhibit to the
Court's Show Cause Order No. 2, indicating that her PFS
was not substantially complete as to the Sanofi
defendants. On December 4, 2017, counsel submitted
Plaintiff's third amended PFS. On April 3, 2018, counsel
uploaded Plaintiff's Product ID information. On April 20,
2018, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's case.
has now filed a Motion for Reconsideration, and she moves the
Court to reinstate her case. In a brief opposition,
Defendants argue that Plaintiff's Motion should be denied
because Plaintiff did not file a response to Show Cause Order
No. 2, and she failed to provide good cause for why she
failed to respond. In reply, Plaintiff explains that counsel
failed to file a response because they missed her name on the
Show Cause list. Plaintiff notes that the list spanned many
pages and was not organized by law firm.
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) provides that “the court
may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1)
mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; . . .
or (6) any other reason that justifies
litigation is a “special breed of complex litigation
where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, ”
and the district court “needs to have broad discretion
to administer the proceeding as a whole, which necessarily
includes keeping the parts in line.” In a situation
like the instant one where an MDL action is dismissed for
failure to comply with obligations related to a Plaintiff
Fact Sheet, “the docket-managing factor is weighted
heavily in favor of dismissal, ” given the size and
complexity of an MDL. At the same time, however, the Fifth
Circuit has held that “[w]hile we recognize a district
court's authority to supervise and control its docket,
parties should not be punished for their counsel's
neglect except in extreme and unusual
Court notes that counsel for Hays represents hundreds of
other plaintiffs in this litigation. Although the
docket-managing factor weighs in favor of upholding
dismissals following a Show Cause Order, the Court finds that
this is an exceptional situation given the circumstances
surrounding counsel's error and given the fact that
Plaintiffs daughters were making efforts to pursue her case.
Accordingly, the circumstances here justify relief under Rule
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Patsy Hays's Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. 2340) is GRANTED and
her case is REOPENED. Plaintiff has 30 days
from the date of this Order to bring herself into compliance
with her obligations in ...