United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. BODENHAUSEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to
Remand. (ECF No. 13) The issues raised in this Motion have
been fully briefed, and all current parties have consented to
the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge under 28 U.S.C. § 636. (ECF No. 40) For the
reasons explained below, the Court will grant Plaintiffs'
motion and remand the case to the Twenty-Second Circuit Court
of the State of Missouri for further proceedings. All other
motions pending in this matter will be denied as moot.
one in a series of consumer injury cases filed against
Defendants in connection with ovarian cancers alleged to have
been caused by use of talc-based products. This particular
case was filed September 4, 2015 in the Twenty-Second Circuit
Court in St. Louis, Missouri. (ECF No. 18) At the time of
removal, the plaintiff group consisted of 74 individuals from
32 states, including Missouri and New Jersey. (ECF No. 14)
Nine plaintiffs subsequently filed voluntary dismissals of
their claims. (ECF Nos. 19-27)
Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer,
Inc. (collectively “Johnson & Johnson
Defendants”) filed for removal on June 29, 2017, with
the consent of their fellow defendants. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-3)
They assert that there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction
on the basis of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 diversity jurisdiction.
Defendants assert that there is complete diversity between
the parties, despite the presence of plaintiffs from the
state of New Jersey, home of the Johnson & Johnson
Defendants. In an attempt to address this issue, a motion to
dismiss these and the other non-Missouri plaintiffs was filed
in conjunction with removal. (ECF No. 4) Defendants argue
that the non-Missouri plaintiffs have been misjoined because
they have no connections to the State of Missouri and that
the Court thus lacks personal jurisdiction over them.
assert that the Court should decide the issue of personal
jurisdiction before the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction
in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in
Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. v. Superior Ct. of
California, 137 S.Ct. 1773 (June 19, 2017). Based on
Bristol-Meyers, the Defendants would have the Court
dismiss the non-Missouri plaintiffs for lack of personal
jurisdiction, which would in turn result in a group of
remaining plaintiffs completely diverse from the Defendants.
have moved for remand, asserting that removal was time-barred
by the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c).
defendant may remove a state law claim to federal court only
if the action originally could have been filed there.”
In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., 591 F.3d 613, 619
(8th Cir. 2010). See also 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
After removal, a party may move to remand the case to state
court, and the case should be remanded if it appears that the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). The party invoking federal jurisdiction and
seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction, and all doubts about federal jurisdiction are
resolved in favor of remand. Central Iowa Power Co-op, v
Midwest Indep. Transmission Sys. Operator, Inc., 561
F.3d 904, 912 (8th Cir. 2009).
speaking, a defendant in a state court case seeking to move
the matter to federal court must file for removal within 30
days after it receives a copy of the initial pleading or
after the service of summons upon the defendant if such
initial pleading has then been filed in court and is not
required to be served on the defendant, whichever is shorter.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1).
statute makes an exception for cases which are not removable
based on an initial pleading but later developments reveal
potential federal jurisdiction. Specifically, a defendant may
still file for removal in such a case within 30 days
“after receipt by the defendant . . . of a copy of an
amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it
may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has
become removable.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3).
is, in turn, a limitation to this exception. When
subject-matter jurisdiction in a potential delayed-removal
situation is premised on diversity of the parties, it may not
be removed if it is more than one year after commencement of
the case “unless the district court finds that the
plaintiff has acted in bad faith in order to prevent a
defendant from removing the action.” 28 U.S.C. §
1446(c)(1). In Missouri, a civil action is commenced by
filing a petition. Mo. R. Civ. P. 53.01.
noted above, the instant matter was filed on September 4,
2015. According to the Missouri State Court records, the
Johnson & Johnson Defendants were served on October 8,
2015. A notice of removal ...