Arnold et al v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company et al

Filing 31

ORDER by Judge Thelton E. Henderson granting 24 Defendant's Motion to Stay. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/3/2013)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 MICHAEL A. ARNOLD, et al., 6 Plaintiffs, 7 8 v. BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY, et al., NO. C12-6426 TEH ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STAY 9 Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 On December 20, 2012, Defendant Bristol-Myers Squibb Company filed a motion to 13 relate this case to Caouette v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Case No. 12-1814 EMC, and the 14 parties filed a stipulation to relate the two cases on the same day. The motion remains 15 pending before Judge Edward M. Chen. 16 On February 20, 2013, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) 17 conditionally transferred this case to the United States District Court for the District of New 18 Jersey as part of Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) No. 2418, In re: Plavix Marketing, Sales 19 Practices and Products Liability Litigation (No. II). Plaintiffs have opposed the conditional 20 transfer order, and the JPML’s consideration of whether to transfer this case remains 21 pending. 22 Defendant now moves to stay proceedings in this Court pending possible transfer by 23 the JPML and possible relation by Judge Chen. After carefully considering the parties’ 24 written arguments, the Court finds oral argument to be unnecessary and now VACATES the 25 hearing scheduled for April 8, 2013. 26 This Court has the inherent power to control its own docket, including the power to 27 stay proceedings in the interests of judicial economy. Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 28 254-55 (1936). When considering whether to grant a stay, courts consider: “(1) conserving 1 judicial resources and avoiding duplicative litigation; (2) hardship and inequity to the moving 2 party if the action is not stayed; and (3) potential prejudice to the non-moving party.” In re 3 Apple iPhone Application Litig., Case No. 10-CV-05878-LHK, 2011 WL 2149102, at *2 4 (N.D. Cal. May 31, 2011). These factors weigh in favor of a stay in this case. First, it is 5 undisputed that motions to remand are pending before multiple judges in this district in 6 similar cases. Staying this case pending possible relation to a single judge in this district or 7 to the MDL court would promote judicial economy and uniform decision-making. Second, 8 Defendant might suffer hardship and inequity if this Court were to decide Plaintiffs’ motion 9 to remand before Judge Chen or the JPML determines whether transfer is appropriate. If the 11 the MDL court could revisit the issue, thus forcing Defendant to relitigate it. On the other For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Court were to deny the motion to remand and this case were later transferred, Judge Chen or 12 hand, if the Court were to grant the motion, and Judge Chen or the MDL court ultimately 13 decided in other similar cases that removal was proper, Defendant would be prejudiced by 14 having to litigate this case in state court instead of before Judge Chen or the MDL court. 15 Leeson v. Merck & Co., Inc., No. CIV. S-05-2240 WBS PAN, 2006 WL 3230047, at *4 16 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 27, 2006). Third, Plaintiffs have identified no potential prejudice from a stay, 17 and this Court finds none. If this case is transferred or related, Plaintiffs can present their 18 remand motion to Judge Chen or the MDL court. Additionally, Plaintiffs have already 19 opposed the conditional transfer order by the JPML, and Defendant’s reply is due today, so 20 any stay is not likely to be long in duration. 21 Accordingly, with good cause appearing, Defendant’s motion to stay proceedings is 22 GRANTED.1 The May 20, 2013 case management conference is hereby VACATED. 23 1 This Court joins other courts in this district that have granted motions to stay in 24 similar cases. Mar. 25, 2013 Order Vacating Hearings & Staying Proceedings, Vanny v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Case No. 12-5752 SI (Docket No. 32) (granting identical motion 25 to stay); Mar. 14, 2013 Order Granting Mot. to Stay, Aiken v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Case No. 12-5208 RS (Docket No. 34) (same); see also Jan. 22, 2013 Order Staying Litig. Pending 26 Decision by Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litig., Belinda v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Case No. 12-5941 YGR (Docket No. 15) (staying case pending decision by JPML to create 27 consolidated proceeding); Dec. 3, 2012 Order Staying Litig. Pending Decision by MDL Judicial Panel, Kinney v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Case No. 12-4477 EMC (and nine 28 related cases) (Docket No. 26) (same). 2 1 Plaintiffs may re-notice their motion to remand if Judge Chen does not relate this case and 2 the JPML does not transfer this case to the MDL court. Prior to doing so, the parties shall 3 meet and confer to discuss whether supplemental briefing on the remand motion is required 4 and, if so, to stipulate to a briefing schedule. The noticed hearing date must be at least two 5 weeks after both the date of the re-notice and the deadline to file supplemental briefs, if any. 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 9 Dated: 04/03/13 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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