Lightfoot v. Johnson & Johnson et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 5 Motion to Stay. For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Johnson & Johnson's motion to stay this action pending its likely transfer to MDL No. 2738. This matter is administratively closed pending the stay. Signed by Judge Sarah S. Vance on 11/8/2017. (cg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
JOHNSON & JOHNSON ET AL.
SECTION “R” (3)
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is Defendant Johnson & Johnson’s unopposed motion
to stay this case pending its likely transfer to In re: Johnson & Johnson
Talcum Powder Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation, MDL No. 2738, in the District of New Jersey.1 For the following
reasons, the Court grants the motion.
Plaintiff Brandy Lightfoot sued Johnson & Johnson, Johnson &
Johnson Consumer Inc., Imerys Talc America, Inc., and K&B Louisiana
Corp. in state court on August 1, 2017. 2 Plaintiff asserts that she developed
ovarian cancer from using products, like Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
and Shower to Shower, that contained talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson
R. Doc. 5.
See R. Doc. 10-1.
removed this case to federal court on September 6, 2017,3 and one day later
moved to stay proceedings pending the likely transfer to the MDL. The
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation entered a conditional transfer order
on September 12, 2017. 4 Plaintiff has opposed transfer to the MDL, 5 though
she has not opposed a stay.
Two other motions are pending in this case. First, plaintiff moved to
remand to state court on the ground that complete diversity is lacking. 6
Second, Imerys moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. 7 Both
motions are opposed. 8
The Court “has broad discretion to stay proceedings as an incident to
its power to control its own docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706
In determining whether to grant a motion to stay, the Court
considers: “(1) the potential prejudice to the non-moving party; (2) the
R. Doc. 1.
R. Doc. 13-1.
See R. Doc. 13 at 4.
R. Doc. 6. Plaintiff contends that both she and Defendant K&B
Louisiana Corp. are citizens of Louisiana.
R. Doc. 7.
See R. Doc. 9 (Johnson & Johnson’s opposition to plaintiff’s motion
to remand); R. Doc. 13 (plaintiff’s opposition to Imerys’s motion to
hardship and inequity to the moving party if the action is not stayed; and
(3) the judicial resources that would be saved by avoiding duplicative
litigation” if the case were in fact transferred to the MDL. Rizk v. DePuy
Orthopaedics, Inc., No. 11-2272, 2011 WL 4965498, at *2 (E.D. La. Oct. 19,
Here, Johnson & Johnson would be prejudiced if it were forced to
litigate the same issues in both this Court and the MDL. Additionally, a stay
pending a determination regarding transfer to the MDL transferee court is
in the interests of judicial economy. Staying consideration of plaintiff’s
motion to remand and Imerys’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction will prevent the risk of inconsistent and conflicting rulings while
conserving judicial resources.
Finally, plaintiff does not identify any
prejudice from a stay of this action, nor does she oppose Johnson &
Johnson’s motion to stay. Accordingly, the Court finds that this action
should be stayed pending a determination by the MDL panel as to whether
the case is appropriate for transfer.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Johnson & Johnson’s
motion to stay this action pending its likely transfer to MDL No. 2738. This
matter is administratively closed pending the stay.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this _____ day of November, 2017.
SARAH S. VANCE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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