United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
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.
the City of Granite City, Illinois ("the City")
originally filed this action in the Circuit Court of the
Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County against
manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. The
City alleges that Defendants unlawfully sold or caused to be
sold millions of prescription opioids into Granite City,
Illinois, causing the foreseeable and widespread diversion of
prescription opioids into the illicit market which has
created a serious public health and safety crisis in the City
(Doc. 1-1, p. 1). The City further alleges that
Defendants' conduct exacted an enormous financial burden
on the City. Id. at p. 2.
Complaint asserts eight causes of action against the
defendants: public nuisance (Count I); violations of the
Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 815 ILCS
510/1 et seq. (Count II); negligence and negligent
misrepresentation (Count III); negligence per se (Count IV);
civil conspiracy in violation of 720 ILCS § 5/17-10.5
and the UDTPA (Count V); and fraud and fraudulent
misrepresentation (Count VI); insurance fraud in violation of
720 ILCS 5/17-10.5 (Count VII); and unjust enrichment (Count
VIII) (see Doc. 1-1, ¶¶ 379-515). On July
9, 2018, McKesson Corporation removed the case to this Court,
asserting that removal is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1441 and 1331 because the City's claims
present a substantial federal question under the Controlled
Substances Act ("CSA"), 21 U.S.C. §§ 801,
general, an action filed in state court may be removed to
federal court only if the action originally could have been
brought in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Courts
are to interpret the removal statute narrowly. Schur v.
L.A. Weight Loss Centers, Inc., 577 F.3d 752, 758 (7th
Cir. 2009). A plaintiff's choice of forum is presumed
valid, and the court must resolve any doubts about
jurisdiction in favor of remand. Id. The defendant
bears the burden of establishing that all of the
prerequisites for removal have been satisfied. Boyd v.
Phoenix Funding Corp., 366 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir.
2004). In determining whether removal is proper, the court
must consider the jurisdictional circumstances at the time
that the removal was made. In re Shell Oil Co., 966
F.2d 1130, 1133 (7th Cir. 1992).
1331 “is invoked by and large by plaintiffs pleading a
cause of action created by federal law.” Grable
& Sons Metal Prods., Inc. v. Darue Eng'g &
Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 312 (2005). Causes of action under
state law may nonetheless “arise under” federal
law for purposes of § 1331 even when the Complaint does
not explicitly plead a federal cause of action if the
four-pronged Grable test is met. Specifically,
“federal jurisdiction over a state law claim will lie
if a federal issue is: (1) necessarily raised, (2) actually
disputed, (3) substantial, and (4) capable of resolution in
federal court without disrupting the federal-state balance
approved by Congress.” Gunn v. Minton, 568
U.S. 251, 258 (2013).
Grable exception is significantly limited in scope.
See, Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh,
547 U.S. 677, 701 (2006) (noting that only a “slim
category” of cases satisfy the four-prong
Grable test). "It takes more than a federal
element to open the arising under door" and mere
allegations of a “federal issue” are not a
“password opening federal courts to any state action
embracing a point of federal law.” Grable, 545
U.S. at 314. As such, the “mere presence” of a
federal issue in a state cause of action and the “mere
assertion of a federal interest” are not enough to
confer federal jurisdiction. Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v.
Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 813 (1986); Chicago Tribune
Co. v. Bd. of Tr. of Univ. of Ill., 680 F.3d 1001 (7th
case, no federal causes of action are stated in the
Complaint. In fact, it specifically disavows federal subject
matter jurisdiction, asserting that no substantial federal
question is presented. While this disavowal is not
determinative, the Complaint alleges violations of duties
arising solely under state law and regulations.
support of removal, McKesson contends that although the
City's theories of recovery are pleaded as state law
claims, the claims are predicated on alleged breaches of duty
derived from the CSA. However, the CSA does not provide for a
private right of action. See 21 U.S.C. §
337(a); Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Comm.,
531 U.S. 341, 349 n. 4 (2001); Zink v. Lombardi, 783
F.3d 1089, 1113 (8th Cir. 2015). Thus, federal question
jurisdiction is not presented on the face of the Complaint.
the Grable exception does not apply; the City's
claims do not raise a larger substantial federal interest,
nor do they implicate "the action of any federal
department, agency, or service." Empire Healthchoice
Assur., Inc. v. McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677, 700 (2006). While
the Complaint references some duties or requirements that may
also exist under the CSA, those references alone are
insufficient to create federal question jurisdiction. See
Merrell Dow Pharm., 478 U.S. 804; Lancaster v.
Astellas Pharma, Inc., 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); 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 lone federal
regulation as an element of a state-law tort claim”).
Simply put, this case as pleaded raises garden-variety state
law tort claims.
foregoing reasons, this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over this matter, and is therefore 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
DIRECTED to close this case, and all pending
motions (Docs. 7 and 8) are terminated as