Evans et al v. Boston Scientific Corporation
OPINION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion to Remand, [Doc. No.9], is Granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is remanded to the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, Missouri. 9 Signed by District Judge Henry E. Autrey on 8/27/13. cc: City of St. Louis.(CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ALTHEA EVANS, et al.,
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP,
No. 4:13CV1272 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand, [Doc. No.
9]. Defendant opposes the Motion, and on August 27, 2013, the Court heard oral
arguments. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is granted.
Plaintiffs filed this action in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis,
Missouri on April 12, 2013. Defendant removed the matter, as well as Taylor, et
al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, Cause Number: 13CV1274-HEA, and Atwell
v. Boston Scientific Corporation, Cause Number 13CV1270-CEJ, based on the
Court’s federal question jurisdiction. Defendant contends that under the Class
Action Fairness Act of 2005, (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B), these cases
have become removable because Plaintiffs have proposed their claims be tried in
conjunction with one another due to common questions of law or fact.
CAFA allows for federal question jurisdiction in “mass action” cases. The
term, “‘mass action’ means any civil action. . . in which monetary relief claims of
100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly on the ground that the
plaintiffs’ claims involve common questions of law or fact. . .” (Emphasis added).
In the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Plaintiffs sought assignment of this case
and the Taylor case, in which counsel for Plaintiffs is the same, to one judge for
combined pretrial proceedings. Counsel for Plaintiffs specifically did not seek
consolidation of their cases, nor did they suggest that the cases be tried as one.
Quite the contrary, Plaintiffs specifically filed two separate suits to avoid this
Court’s federal question jurisdiction.
While Defendant advocates an enticing interpretation of CAFA, such
interpretation runs afoul of the clear statutory language, i.e., that there is a single
trial of 100 or more persons. In the case before this Court, there are clearly fewer
than 100 plaintiffs, and the mere fact that they requested combined pre-trial
proceedings does not “morph” the proceedings into a single trial. Indeed, even
assuming Plaintiffs in this case sought consolidation of the Plaintiffs in the Taylor
case, the case in which Plaintiffs are represented by the same lawyers, the
jurisdictional threshold would not be reached. There are 27 plaintiffs in this case;
in Taylor, there are 14 plaintiffs. Simple addition establishes that the total number
would be 41. While Defendant seeks to also include the At well v. Boston
Scientific Corporation case in with the Evans and Taylor cases, nothing in the
record establishes that these three cases have ever sought to be consolidated into
one for any purpose.
There are fewer than 100 plaintiffs seeking a single trial. CAFA, therefore,
is inapplicable, and the Court is without jurisdiction.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand, [Doc. No.
9], is Granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is remanded to the Circuit
Court for the City of St. Louis, Missouri.
Dated this 27th day of August, 2013.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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