United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CHRISTY RIOS, et. al. Plaintiffs,
BAYER CORPORATION, BAYER HEALTHCARE LLC, BAYER ESSURE, INC., BAYER HEATHCARE PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., and BAYER A.G., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court sua sponte on the issue
of federal subject matter jurisdiction. See Foster v.
Hill, 497 F.3d 695, 696-97 (7th Cir. 2007)
(“it is the responsibility of a court to make an
independent evaluation of whether subject matter jurisdiction
exists in every case”). For the following reasons, this
case is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial
Circuit, Madison County, Illinois.
are 95 individuals who are citizens of 27 different states
and the District of Columbia (Doc. 1-1, ¶¶
2-96). Defendant Bayer Corporation is a citizen
of Indiana and Pennsylvania; Defendant Bayer Healthcare LLC
is a citizen of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Germany,
and the Netherlands; Defendant Bayer Essure, Inc. is a
citizen of Delaware and New Jersey; and Defendant Bayer
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a citizen of Delaware and
New Jersey (see Doc. 1, pp. 8-10).
filed this action in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial
Circuit, Madison County, Illinois, seeking damages against
Defendants arising out of alleged injuries sustained as a
result of the implantation and use of Essure - a medical
device deigned to be a form of permanent female birth
control. Defendants removed the action to this Court
asserting diversity citizenship jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332 and federal question jurisdiction pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
action may be removed to federal court if the district court
has original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Courts have
original jurisdiction of civil actions if there is complete
diversity between the parties and the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs. Complete
diversity means that “none of the parties on either
side of the litigation may be a citizen of the state of which
a party on the other side is a citizen.” Howell v.
Tribune Entertainment Co., 106 F.3d 215, 217 (7th Cir.
1997) (citations omitted). The removal statute is construed
narrowly and any doubts regarding jurisdiction are resolved
in favor of remand. Doe v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 985
F.2d 908, 911 (7th Cir. 1993). If the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, the action must be remanded to
state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The burden
of establishing federal jurisdiction falls on the party
seeking removal. Id.
case, Defendants are citizens of Delaware, Indiana, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Germany and the Netherlands. Some of
the Plaintiffs are also citizens of Indiana, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania. Thus, complete diversity does not exist on the
face of the Complaint. Defendants do not deny that complete
diversity is lacking. Rather, Defendants argue that this
Court nonetheless has diversity jurisdiction because the
out-of-state Plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed for
lack of personal jurisdiction or under the doctrine of forum
non conveniens. Defendants further assert that the
out-of-state Plaintiffs' claims were either fraudulently
joined or procedurally misjoined, and thus the non-diverse
Plaintiffs' citizenship should be ignored for purposes of
determining jurisdiction. Defendants have filed a motion to
dismiss (Doc. 7) and a motion to sever the non-diverse
parties (Doc. 10).
clear from the face of the Complaint that diversity
jurisdiction is lacking. Thus, the Court need not determine
the existence of personal jurisdiction. See Ruhrgas AG v.
Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 587-88, 119 S.Ct. 1563,
143 L.Ed.2d 760 (1999) (stating that if subject-matter
jurisdiction involves “no arduous inquiry, ” then
“both expedition and sensitivity to state courts'
coequal stature should impel the federal court to dispose of
that issue first”); Anglin v. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Co., 2012 WL 1268143, at *4 (S.D. Ill. 2012);
Lambert v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2015 WL 264817, at
*3 (S.D. Ill. 2015).
also seek to invoke federal question jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331, asserting that Plaintiffs' claims
depend on the resolution of a substantial, disputed federal
question and the exercise of jurisdiction will not disrupt
the balance between federal and state jurisdiction adopted by
Congress. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal district
courts may assert jurisdiction over cases arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. The
well-pleaded complaint doctrine states that federal question
jurisdiction is present where the face of the complaint
alleges a violation of federal law. Caterpillar Inc. v.
Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). To establish federal
question jurisdiction in this case, Defendants must show
either: (1) that a federal statute grants the court
jurisdiction; or (2) that there is common law jurisdiction to
a “uniquely federal interest, ” which would be
frustrated by the “application of state law.”
Northrop Corp. v. AIL Systems, Inc., 959 F.2d 1424,
1426-27 (7th Cir. 1992).
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Thompson, 478
U.S. 804, 106 S.Ct. 3229, 92 L.Ed.2d 650 (1986), the
plaintiff alleged that ingestion of a drug manufactured by
the defendant resulted in birth defects, claiming in part
that the drug was “misbranded” in violation of
the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Id. at 805.
The Supreme Court found that the labeling claims belonged in
state court, noting that “the mere presence of a
federal issue in a state cause of action does not
automatically confer federal-question jurisdiction.”
Id. at 813. In doing so, the Court held that even
though federal law would have to apply in resolving the case,
the issues did not sufficiently implicate important federal
interests since the FDCA provides no federal cause of action.
Id. at 814.
here, while Plaintiffs have alleged that Defendants'
conduct violates the FDCA and consideration of federal
regulations may indeed be involved in the disposition of this
action, those facts alone are insufficient to create federal
question jurisdiction. See Lancaster v. Astellas Pharma,
Inc., No. 08-cv-0133-MJR, 2008 WL 4378441, at *4 (S.D.
Ill. 2008) (noting “the mere fact that a state court
may have to reference federal regulations in determining the
outcome of a claim is not sufficient by itself to create a
substantial federal question); Wagner v. Wisconsin Auto
Title Loans, Inc., 584 F.Supp.2d 1123, 1125 (E.D. Wis.
2008) (incorporation of federal regulation though state
statute insufficient to create disputed issue of federal law
where alleged conduct, if true, would indisputably violate
federal statute); Fuller v. BNSF Ry. Co., 472
F.Supp.2d 1088, 1094 (S.D. Ill. 2007) (rejecting federal
question jurisdiction where plaintiff's complaint cited a
“a lone federal regulation as an element of a state-law
tort claim”); Orbitz, LLC v. Worldspan, L.P.,
425 F.Supp.2d 929 (N.D. Ill. 2006) (declining to exercise
federal question jurisdiction where plaintiffs' claim
under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act alleged violation of federal regulations but
resolution of claim turned on showing of deceptive conduct).
this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter
and is obligated, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), to
remand the case back to the Circuit Court of the Third
Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois. The Clerk of
Court is ...