Beijing Sinotau Medical Research Co., Ltd v. Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER re 49 Joint MOTION to Transfer Case to The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio filed by Cardinal Health 414, LLC, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. is GRANTED; 4 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Beijing Sinotau Medical Research Co., Ltd is DENIED AS MOOT; the Clerk of Court is directed to transfer this action to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Signed by Judge Leonard P. Stark on 6/26/17. (ntl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
BEIJING SINOTAU MEDICAL RESEARCH
C.A. No. 17-110-LPS-MPT
NAVIDEA BIOPHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
and CARDINAL HEALTH 414, LLC,
Pending before the Court is Defendants' Joint Motion to Transfer. (D.I. 49) ("Motion")
For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.
On February 1, 2017, Defendant Navidea Biophannaceuticals, Inc. ("Navidea") sued
Plaintiff Beijing Sinotau Medical Research Co., Ltd. ("Sinotau") in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio ("S.D. Ohio"). The next day, on February 2, 2017,
Sinotau filed the instant action against N avidea and co-Defendant Cardinal Health 414, LLC
("Cardinal"). On that same day, February 2 1 Sinotau filed a motion for temporary restraining
order and preliminary injunction.
On February 18, Navidea and Cardinal jointly filed a motion to stay. After expedited
briefing, on March 1 the Court granted the motion to stay. (D.I. 36) The Court held that this
action should be stayed in light of the "first-filed" rule.
Thereafter, the Court received a status report and held a status teleconference with the
parties. (See D.I. 39, 47) Having expressed its view that the case should not be stayed
indefinitely (see D.I. 47 at 3, 7), and that the Court would likely have to decide whether to
dismiss or transfer this case, the Court granted leave for Defendants to file a motion to transfer.
(D.I. 48) Pursuant to the Court's letter briefing procedures, the parties briefed the pending
Motion between June 9 and 16. (See D.I. 50, 52, 53) 1
Having reviewed the parties' submissions, the Court agrees with Defendants that this case
should be transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, where
the first-filed action remains pending. See generally 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a); see also Jumara v.
State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 879-80 (3d Cir. 1995). Given the applicability of the first-filed
rule, and the totality of the circumstances, Defendants have met their burden to show that
Plaintiffs choice of Delaware as a forum for litigating this action is not decisive. To the
contrary, the equities strongly favor transfer. The extensive familiarity of the assigned judge in
S.D. Ohio, along with the fact that S.D. Ohio obtained jurisdiction over the parties' dispute
before this Court, are substantial practical considerations favoring transfer. The S.D. Ohio action
is further advanced than this case - it includes the filing of an amended complaint. Plaintiffs
claims arose in Ohio, and Ohio appears to be a more convenient forum than Delaware.
The pendency of Plaintiffs (recently fully-briefed) motion to dismiss the S.D. Ohio
action does not alter the Court's conclusion. It appears that the assigned judge has already
preliminarily rejected Plaintiffs jurisdictional argument. (See D.I. 53 at 1) (citing S.D. Ohio
TRO decision) In any event, the mere possibility that Plaintiff may ultimately persuade the S.D.
The Court was scheduled to hear oral argument by telephonic conference on June 23, a
hearing that had been on the calendar since May 22. (See D.I. 48) On June 23, the day of the
long-scheduled call, counsel for Plaintiff sought a continuance, based on counsel's overseas
travel. (See D.I. 55) The Court has determined that oral argument is not required in order to
decide the Motion.
Ohio Court that it lacks jurisdiction is not reason enough, in the totality of circumstances, to
warrant this Court indefinitely staying the instant action.
In sum, the Court agrees with Defendants' overall assessment:
[Plaintiff] cannot dispute that: (i) the Southern District of _Ohio is a
proper venue for the instant action; (ii) the Defendants are
headquartered in Ohio; (iii) [Plaintiffs] claims arose in Ohio; (iv)
the present of the related, first-filed action in Ohio weighs in favor
of transfer; and (v) Judge Marbley [ofS.D. Ohio] has gained
significant knowledge of the facts and issues underlying both cases
based on his review of the parties' briefing on a temporary
restraining order, his review of the parties' contracts, and his
management of extensive settlement negotiations between the
(D.I. 53 at 2)
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: (1) Defendants' Joint Motion to
Transfer (D.I. 49) is GRANTED; (2) the motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction (D.I. 4) is DENIED AS MOOT; and (3) the Clerk of Court is directed to
TRANSFER this action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
June 26, 201 7
HDNOiiBLELEONARD P. STARK
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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