Spillers et al v. Fresenius USA, Inc. et al
OPINION,MEMORANDUM AND ORDER-IT IS HEREBY ORDERED the request to stay is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to remand, [Doc. No. 15 ], isGRANTED. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall remand this caseto the Circuit Court for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Signed by District Judge Henry E. Autrey on 01/27/2014. (cc:Ciruit Court of City of St. Louis(CLK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JENNIFER SPILLER, INDIVIDUALLY )
AND ON BEHALF OF THE ESTATE OF )
GORDON MCKEE, et al,
FRESENIUS USA, INC., et al.,
Case No. 4:13-CV-2538 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand [Doc. No. 15].
Defendant has filed opposition to the motion. [Doc. No. 21]. Plaintiff asserts the
matter should be remanded to the Circuit Court for the Twenty-Second Judicial
Circuit Court. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is well-taken and is
Plaintiff filed this action in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri
on October 31, 2013. Thereafter, on December 20, 2013, Defendants filed a Notice
of Removal to this Court. In so doing, Defendants relied upon diversity of
citizenship jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332. Defendants request the
Court to stay the ruling on the Motion to Remand pending ruling of the transfer
motion before the Multi-District Litigation Panel. Defendants also argue that the
motion should be denied in any event as the Court properly has diversity
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the lawsuit. In the pleadings, Plaintiffs
allege damages related to dialysis products of Defendants. There are state law
claims of injury and death raised by Plaintiffs and against Defendants relative to a
product of Defendants that was used in the dialysis treatment of Plaintiffs.
Defendants’ principal place of business is Massachusetts and all are citizens and
residents of Massachusetts. Plaintiffs are likewise citizens and residents of
“A defendant may remove a state law claim to federal court only if the action
originally could have been filed there.” In re Prempro Products Liability
Litigation, 591 F. 3d 613 (8th Cir. 2010) (citing Phipps v. FDIC, 417 F. 3d 1006,
1010 (8th Cir. 2005) ). The defendant bears the burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. Altimore v. Mount Mercy College,
420 F. 3d 763, 768 (8th Cir. 2005). “All doubts about federal jurisdiction should
be resolved in favor of remand to the state court.” In re Prempro Products
Litigation, 591 F. 3d at 620 (citing Wilkinson v. Shackelford, 478 F. 3d 957, 963
(8th Cir. 2007) ). A case must be remanded at anytime it appears the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U. S. C. §1447 ©; Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332, diversity of citizenship exists where the
amount in controversy is greater than $75,000 and there is complete diversity of
citizenship among all litigants. “Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no
defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any plaintiff holds
citizenship.” OnePoint Solutions, LLC V. Borchert, 486 F. 3d 342, 346 (8th Cir.
On the issue of whether the matter should be stayed pending a ruling on
conditional transfer by the MDL panel, Defendants are reminded that “... pendency
of a ... conditional transfer order... does not affect or suspend orders and pretrial
proceedings in any pending federal district court action and does not limit the
pretrial jurisdiction of that court.” J.P.M.L. Rule of Procedure 2.1 (d). It has been
said by another member of this court related to the same motion in another case
such as this,
“[a] putative transferor court need not automatically postpone
rulings on pending motions, or in any way generally suspend
proceedings [related to an MDL proceeding]...” This is especially true
where, as here, the pending motion is one for remand and goes to the
Court’s subject matter jurisdiction.”
Spears v. Fresnius Medical Care No. Am., Inc., No. 4-13-cv-855 (CEJ), 2013 WL
2633302, at 1 (E.D.Mo. 2013). Jurisdiction of the court is always the paramount
consideration. As such the request to stay will be denied.
As to the motion to remand, Plaintiffs argue that all claims, parties, and
allegations are proper and sufficient and therefore the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction due to a lack of complete diversity citizenship. The allegations in the
petition filed by Plaintiffs does not create a legal chasm as to any claims or
citizenship here because all parties are citizens of Massachusetts. Knowing that to
be the case Defendants attempt to defeat remand by sparring with the fraudulent
This Court is certain that at this juncture Defendants are well aware the
Eighth Circuit United States Court of Appeals has not yet yielded to this doctrine.
There is nothing to support that the alignment of plaintiffs and causes is so
egregious to defeat remand as might be required under the misjoinder doctrine.
The motion to remand should be therefore granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED the request to stay is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to remand, [Doc. No. 15], is
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall remand this case
to the Circuit Court for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Dated this 27th day of January, 2014.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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