Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jordan v. Bayer Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 13, 2018

LAVETA JORDAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
BAYER CORPORATION, et al., Defendants,



         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to remand (ECF No. 98); Defendant Bayer's[1] motion to dismiss (ECF No. 106); Plaintiffs' motion to stay (ECF No. 112); Bayer's motion to sever (ECF No. 121); and Bayer's motion for oral argument (ECF No. 123). Plaintiffs' motions are fully briefed by the parties. However, Plaintiffs elected not to respond to Bayer's motion to dismiss, instead choosing to file a motion to stay proceedings and for extension of time to respond to the motion to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to remand will be denied, the motion to dismiss will be granted in part, the motion to stay will be denied, and the motions to sever and for oral argument will be denied as moot.


         This products liability action has a long and complex procedural history. It was originally filed in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, by 94 Plaintiffs from 27 different states, including seven Plaintiffs who are citizens of Missouri, against Bayer, alleging that Bayer's product, Essure, caused them harm. Bayer Corporation is a citizen of New Jersey and Indiana; Bayer Healthcare, LLC is a citizen of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Germany, and the Netherlands; Bayer Essure, Inc. and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., are citizens of Delaware and New Jersey; and Bayer A.G. is a German corporation. Bayer removed the case to this Court on March 9, 2017 on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         The Court previously issued a Memorandum and Order granting Bayer's motion to dismiss as to the claims of all non-Missouri Plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction.[2] Most recently, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint to include the non-Missouri Plaintiffs and add allegations that they believed would allow the Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over the non-Missouri Plaintiffs' claims against Bayer. ECF No. 95. Specifically, the amended complaint added allegations that Bayer used St. Louis as a center to develop, create a marketing strategy for, label, or work on the regulatory approval of Essure; that several pre-market clinical studies for Essure's pre-market approval occurred in Missouri hospitals; and that St. Louis was key to Bayer's national marketing plan.

         Plaintiffs then filed a motion to remand, arguing that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action because there is no complete diversity of citizenship, the Class Action Fairness Act does not provide this Court with jurisdiction, and the Court does not have federal question jurisdiction. Bayer argues in response that the Court should first evaluate personal jurisdiction as to the non-Missouri Plaintiffs and dismiss their claims for lack of personal jurisdiction. Bayer filed a motion to dismiss, advancing similar arguments regarding personal jurisdiction and arguing that all of Plaintiffs' claims are preempted.

         Rather than responding to the motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs moved to stay proceedings pending the Court's ruling on their motion to remand. In the event that Plaintiffs' motion to stay is not granted, Plaintiffs ask the Court to grant limited jurisdictional discovery. Lastly, in the event the motion to stay is not granted, Plaintiffs also seek an extension of time for Plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss. Recently, Bayer filed a motion to sever the claims of the non-Missouri Plaintiffs and a motion for oral argument on Bayer's motion to dismiss and motion to remand.


         Motion to Stay

         Before turning to the motion to remand and motion to dismiss, the Court will first address Plaintiffs' motion to stay. The Court's “power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). In evaluating a motion to stay, a district court must “weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance.” Id. at 255. The movant must “make out a clear case of hardship or inequity.” Id. “Factors relevant to a district court's determination of whether to stay proceedings include maintaining control of its docket, conserving judicial resources, and providing for the just determination of cases pending before it.” Covington v. Janssen Pharm., Inc., No. 4:17-CV-1588 SNLJ, 2017 WL 3433611, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 10, 2017).

         Plaintiffs advance arguments in their motion to stay that are nearly identical to the arguments presented in their motion to remand; namely, that the Court should address subject matter jurisdiction before turning to personal jurisdiction, as subject matter jurisdiction is the less arduous inquiry. They argue that the Court will conserve juridical resources by first addressing Plaintiffs' motion to remand, since “[r]emand of this case is likely.” ECF No. 113 at 2.

         Plaintiffs have failed adequately to explain why disposition of Bayer's motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds should be delayed while Plaintiffs' motion to remand is pending, particularly in light of the fact that the arguments as to personal jurisdiction in both motions overlap significantly. Moreover, Plaintiffs fail to make out a clear case of hardship or inequity. Therefore, the Court will deny the motion. The Court will also deny Plaintiffs' request to conduct jurisdictional discovery because, as set forth more fully below, the facts sought to be discovered by Plaintiffs would not result in this Court being able to exercise personal jurisdiction over the non-Missouri Plaintiffs' claims. See Dyson v. Bayer Corp., No. 4:17CV2584 SNLJ, 2018 WL 534375, at *4 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 24, 2018). Lastly, the Court will deny Plaintiffs' request for an extension of time to respond to the motion to dismiss as it relates to Bayer's motion to dismiss the non-Missouri Plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction. “[T]he filing of a motion to stay does not act as a means to extend deadlines to outstanding motions.” Covington, 2017 WL 3433611, at *3. Moreover, the issue has been exhaustively briefed by both parties.

         Jurisdictional Discretion

         A district court may not proceed in a case unless it has personal and subject matter jurisdiction. Crawford v. F. Hoffman-La Roche, Ltd, 267 F.3d 760, 764 (8th Cir. 2001). Under Supreme Court precedent set forth in Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Company, a Court has discretion to consider personal jurisdiction first where personal jurisdiction is straightforward and presents no complex question of state law, and the alleged defect in subject matter jurisdiction raises a difficult question. 526 U.S. 574, 588 (1999); Crawford, 267 F.3d at 764 (“[C]ertain threshold questions, such as personal jurisdiction, may be taken up without a finding of subject-matter jurisdiction, provided that the threshold issue is simple when compared to the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction.”). In exercising discretion to determine which issue to consider first, courts should consider the interests of judicial economy, weigh the preclusionary effect of ruling on an issue that could travel back and bind the state court, and decide the more straightforward issue first. Ruhrgas, 526 U.S. at 585-86. The Supreme Court in Ruhrga ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.