Rainey et al v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
ORDER transferring this action to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama(Written Opinion). Signed by Senior Judge David S. Doty on 6/11/2014. (PJM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 08-1106(DSD/SER)
Jack Clayton Rainey and
Yvonne M. Flaherty, Esq and Lockridge, Grindal & Nauen,
Minneapolis, MN 55401, counsel for plaintiffs.
James A. O’Neal, Esq. and Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP, 90
South Seventh Street, Suite 2200, Minneapolis, MN 55402
and Lucas J. Thompson, Esq. and Twin Cities Law Firm LLC,
2812 Anthony Lane South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN
55418, counsel for defendant.
This matter is before the court upon the responses of the
parties regarding possible transfer of this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Based on a review of the file, record and
proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court
transfers this action to the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Alabama.1
The parties agree that the court should transfer this action
to the Middle District of Alabama.
This is one of thousands of product-liability actions filed in
the District of Minnesota by plaintiffs who have no connection to
Minnesota against defendants who have no connection to Minnesota
regarding events that did not occur in Minnesota and that had no
impact within Minnesota.
The vast majority of these actions have
been filed in this district because, if they were filed by the
plaintiffs in their home states (or almost anywhere else), they
would be dismissed under the applicable statutes of limitations.
This case is typical.
Plaintiffs Jack Rainey and Thelma
Rainey are citizens of Alabama. Compl. ¶¶ 2-3. Defendant Novartis
Pharmaceuticals, Corporation (Novartis) is incorporated in Delaware
and has a principal place of business in New Jersey.
Id. ¶ 4.
On April 21, 2008, plaintiffs filed suit, alleging that Jack
Rainey developed osteonecrosis of his jaw bone as a result of using
Zometa, a drug manufactured by Novartis.
alleged a claim for loss of consortium.
Thelma Rainey also
On June 2, 2008, pursuant
to an order by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the
case was transferred to the Middle District of Tennessee for
See ECF No. 5.
District of Minnesota on May 7, 2014.
The case was remanded to the
See ECF No. 6.
On May 8,
2014, the court ordered the parties to submit briefs discussing
transfer of this action.
The parties timely responded, and the
court now considers transfer under § 1404(a).
parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court
may transfer any civil action to any other district or division
where it might have been brought.”
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
whether to order a transfer under § 1404(a) “require[s] a case-bycase evaluation of the particular circumstances at hand and a
consideration of all relevant factors.” Terra Int’l, Inc. v. Miss.
Chem. Corp., 119 F.3d 688, 691 (8th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).
The relevant factors generally fall into three categories: (1) the
convenience of the parties; (2) the convenience of the witnesses;
and (3) the interests of justice.
Id. (citation omitted).
is, however, “no exhaustive list of specific factors to consider.”
Convenience of the Parties and Convenience of the Witnesses
In this action, no party is located in Minnesota, no relevant
event occurred in Minnesota, no alleged injury was suffered in
Minnesota and no evidence is present in Minnesota.
not appear to be convenient for anyone — including plaintiffs, who
live in Alabama.2
Moreover, Rainey’s prescribing and treating
Of course, plaintiffs can choose to inconveniencethemselves
and, if litigating in Minnesota were convenient for defendants and
third-party witnesses, the court would not transfer the case solely
to eliminate an inconvenience that plaintiffs want to bear. See
CBS Interactive Inc. v. Nat’l Football League Players Ass’n, Inc.,
259 F.R.D. 398, 409 (D. Minn. 2009) (“[Plaintiffs] chose to
physicians are presumably in Alabama.
See LeMond Cycling, Inc. v.
Trek Bicycle Corp., No. 08-1010, 2008 WL 2247084, at *3 (D. Minn.
inconvenience caused to nonparty witnesses ....”).
As a result,
the first two factors favor transfer.
Interests of Justice
The interests of justice typically involve considerations of
“(1) judicial economy, (2) the plaintiff’s choice of forum, (3) the
comparative costs to the parties of litigating in each forum,
(4) each party’s ability to enforce a judgment, (5) obstacles to a
fair trial, (6) conflict of law[s] issues, and (7) the advantages
of having a local court determine questions of local law.”
Int’l, Inc., 119 F.3d at 696 (citation omitted).
Other than the
plaintiff’s choice of forum, all factors either support or are
neutral regarding transfer.
Therefore, the interests of justice
favor transferring this action.
litigate this action in Minnesota and it would be paradoxical for
that choice to be dislodged by any inconvenience it elected to bear
in litigating its action in this locale.” (citation and internal
quotation marks omitted)).
For the reasons described above,
however, litigating in Minnesota would not be convenient for
defendants or third-party witnesses.
Accordingly, based on the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that
this action is transferred to the United States District Court for
the Middle District of Alabama.
June 11, 2014
s/David S. Doty
David S. Doty, Judge
United States District Court
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