United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Rec. Doc.
18) filed by Defendant International Laboratories,
LLC (“INL”). Defendant Walmart, Inc.
(“Walmart”) opposes the motion. (Rec. Doc. 20).
The Court notes that though Plaintiff Dawn Brinston did not
file a response, the Court considers the merits of the motion
in light of Walmart's opposition. The motion, set for
submission on August 7, 2019, is before the Court on the
briefs without oral argument. Having considered the motion
and memoranda of counsel, the opposition, the record, and the
applicable law, the Court finds that the motion is
DENIED for the reasons set forth below.
March of 2017, Plaintiff was prescribed a prescription for
Clopidogrel USP 75mg which she then filled at Walmart on the
second of every month. (Rec. Doc. 4-1 Petition, ¶
II-III). On January 10, 2018, INL announced a voluntary
recall of a batch of Clopidogrel USP 75mg as mislabeled
Clopidogrel 75mg or Simvastatin USP 10mg. (Id. at
V). In February 2018, Plaintiff received letters from United
Health Care and Sam's Club Walmart notifying Plaintiff of
INL's recall. (Id. at VIII). Plaintiff filed
suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans
alleging that the mislabeled prescription medicine caused
various serious symptoms including an increased coronary
artery blockage. (Id. at XIV). Defendant Walmart
filed the Notice of Removal on March 7, 2019 in accordance
with 28 U.S.C. §1332, diversity jurisdiction. (Rec. Doc.
1, p. 2). By bringing this motion, Defendant INL requests
this Court to dismiss Plaintiff's case pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), 12(b)(5), and
context of a motion to dismiss the Court must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232
(5th Cir. 2009) (citing Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues
& Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308 (2007); Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); Lovick v.
Ritemoney, Ltd., 378 F.3d 433, 437 (5th Cir. 2004)).
However, the foregoing tenet is inapplicable to legal
conclusions. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949
(2009). Thread-bare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice. Id. (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550, U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
INL argues that the Petition lacks a constitutional basis for
this Court to exercise personal jurisdiction and fails to
state a cognizable claim for which relief can be granted.
(Rec. Doc. 18-1, p. 1). INL also asserts that the Petition
should be dismissed for improper service. (Id.).
Walmart opposes dismissal addressing INL's arguments as
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects liberty
interests such that a person will not be subject to a binding
judgment of a forum in which he has not established
“contacts, ties, or relations.” ITL Intern.,
Inv. v. Constenla, S.A., 669 F.3d 493, 498 (5th Cir.
2012)(citing Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326
U.S. 310, 319, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945)). The Due
Process Clause requires: (1) minimum contacts by the
defendant directed at the forum state, i.e., the defendant
purposely directed its activities toward the forum state or
purposely availed itself of the privileges of conducting
activities there; (2) a nexus between the plaintiff's
cause of action and the defendant's forum-related
contacts; and (3) that the exercise of personal jurisdiction
be fair and reasonable. Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 474, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed.2d
contacts may give rise to either “specific”
jurisdiction or “general” jurisdiction.
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414 n. 8-9, 104 S.Ct. 1868, 80 L.Ed.2d 404
(1984). Specific jurisdiction exists when a plaintiff's
cause of action arises from, or is related to, the
nonresident defendant's minimum contacts in the forum
state. Id. at 414 n. 8, 104 S.Ct. 1868. General
jurisdiction exists if the defendant has engaged in
“continuous and systematic” activities in the
forum state. Id. at 415, 104 S.Ct. 1868. In order
for a court to exercise general jurisdiction over a foreign
corporation, the corporation's “affiliations with
the State are so ‘continuous and systematic' as to
render them essentially at home in the forum State.”
Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 127, 134 S.Ct.
746, 754, 187 L.Ed.2d 624 (2014).
argues that this Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claims
against INL because this Court lacks both specific and
general personal jurisdiction over INL. (Rec. Doc. 18-1,
p.1). Because the act of mislabeling Plaintiff's
medication and the acts of manufacturing and/or supplying the
mislabeled medication occurred outside the forum state of
Louisiana, INL argues that this Court lacks specific
jurisdiction. (Rec. Doc. 18-1, p. 3). INL also asserts that
Plaintiff failed to plead a connection between the alleged
wrongful acts and the forum state and she failed to establish
that INL purposefully availed itself of the forum.
(Id.). INL argues that this Court lacks general
jurisdiction because INL is not organized under the laws of
Louisiana, it does not have a principal place of business in
this state, and the Petition lacks allegations that INL has
affiliation with Louisiana so continuous and systematic such
as to render it essentially at home. (Id. at 12).
responds that INL does in fact have sufficient minimum
contacts for this Court to exercise specific personal
jurisdiction. (Rec. Doc. 20, p. 2). Walmart argues that
Plaintiff established a prima facie case that INL, a
foreign limited liability company, mislabeled medication that
caused Plaintiff's injuries. (Id. at 5). Walmart
asserts that by issuing a nationwide voluntary recall, INL
knew that the injurious effects of the mislabeled medication