United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motions to
dismiss the claims of 55 of the 58 Plaintiffs for lack of
personal jurisdiction, and Plaintiffs' motion to remand
the action to state court. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendants' motions will be granted and Plaintiffs'
Plaintiffs who reside in Missouri (“Missouri
Plaintiffs”) joined 55 Plaintiffs from other states and
from Canada (“Non-Missouri Plaintiffs”) to sue
Defendants Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(“BIPI”), Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
(“BII”), Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc.
(“BIR”), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co.
KG (“BIPG”), and Bidachem S.P.A.
(“Bidachem”) in Missouri state court. Plaintiffs
assert state-law tort claims, alleging that Defendants'
anti-blood-clotting drug, Pradaxa, caused each Plaintiff to
suffer severe injuries and/or death.
the Non-Missouri Plaintiffs are Ohio citizens, and therefore
share citizenship with BIR, which is a Delaware corporation
with its principal place of business in Ohio. As to the
citizenship of the remaining Defendants, BIPI is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in
Connecticut; BII and BIPG are German corporations with their
principal places of business in Germany; and Bidachem is an
Italian corporation with its principal place of business in
allege that their claims “arise out of the same
transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions, ”
namely, Defendants' design, manufacture, marketing,
advertising, distribution, promotion, labeling, testing, and
selling of Pradaxa. The Non-Missouri Plaintiffs do not allege
that they were prescribed Pradaxa in Missouri, ingested
Pradaxa in Missouri, or were injured in Missouri. However,
Plaintiffs allege that “Defendants regularly conduct or
solicit business in the State of Missouri” and
“derive substantial revenue from goods used or consumed
in [ ] Missouri.” ECF No. 13 at 13. Plaintiffs seek
compensatory damages for medical expenses, pain and
suffering, and emotional distress, as well as punitive
17, 2017, Defendants timely removed the action to this Court,
asserting diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). Defendants maintained that there was complete
diversity among all “properly joined” parties and
that the amount in controversy exceeded $75, 000. Defendants
acknowledged that two Plaintiffs shared Ohio citizenship with
one of the Defendants, but Defendants asked that the Court
either (1) decide the issue of personal jurisdiction first,
as permitted by the United States Supreme Court in
Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 578
(1999), and dismiss the claims of all Non-Missouri Plaintiffs
for lack of personal jurisdiction, or (2) deem the claims of
all Non-Missouri Plaintiffs fraudulently joined. Defendants
argued that, in either event, the Court would be left with
only the three Missouri Plaintiffs, thus satisfying the
diversity of citizenship requirement. On the same day that
they removed the case to this Court, Defendants also moved to
dismiss the claims of the Non-Missouri Plaintiffs for lack of
argue that the Court should consider subject-matter
jurisdiction before personal jurisdiction, and Plaintiffs
have moved, by separate motion, to remand the case to
Missouri state court for lack of complete diversity.
Plaintiffs do not dispute that Defendants have met the
amount-in-controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and the other requirements for
removal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446.
judge of this Court recently addressed the arguments
presented by the parties here in the context of a Pradaxa
case involving the same jurisdictional issues, Siegfried
v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharm., Inc., No.
4:16-CV-1942-CDP, 2017 WL 2778107 (E.D. Mo. June 27, 2017).
The Court in Siegfried concluded that, although
several judges in this district, including the undersigned,
had previously deemed it more prudent to decide the issue of
subject-matter jurisdiction first, in light of recent
decisions of the United States and Missouri Supreme Courts,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California,
San Francisco County, No. 16-466, 2017 WL 2621322 (U.S.
June 19, 2017), and State ex rel. Norfolk Southern
Railway Co. v. Dolan, 512 S.W.3d 41(Mo. 2017), the issue
of personal jurisdiction “is now the more
straightforward inquiry.” Siegfried, 2017 WL
2778107, at *3 (E.D. Mo. June 27, 2017). Therefore, the
Siegfried Court held that ruling on personal
jurisdiction before subject-matter jurisdiction would best
serve the interests of judicial economy. Id. Other
judges have followed suit. See, e.g., Jordan v. Bayer
Corp., No. 4:17-CV-865-CEJ, 2017 WL 3006993, at *2 (E.D.
Mo. July 14, 2017). The undersigned agrees that the approach
taken in Siegfried, now reflects the better coarse,
and will decide the issue of personal jurisdiction first.
survive a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, a plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to
support a reasonable inference that the defendant can be
subjected to jurisdiction within the state.”
Creative Calling Sols., Inc. v. LF Beauty Ltd., 799
F.3d 975, 979 (8th Cir. 2015). The facts must be viewed in
the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, but the
plaintiffs bear the burden of proof of establishing personal
Fourteenth Amendment limits the extent of personal
jurisdiction and requires that a defendant have certain
minimum contacts with the forum state, “such that
maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions
of fair play and substantial justice.” J. McIntyre
Mach., Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873, 880 (2011)
(quoting Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S.
310, 316 (1945)). Personal jurisdiction can be general or
specific. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 754