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Moore v. Abiomed, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

August 29, 2019

JACK MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
ABIOMED, INC., a foreign corporation, Defendant.

          OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss (d/e 19) filed by Defendant Abiomed, Inc. Defendant seeks to dismiss the product liability, implied warranty of merchantability, negligence/spoliation of evidence, and res ipsa loquitor claims (Counts I through IV) filed by Plaintiff Jack Moore.

         The Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Motion to Dismiss Counts I, II, and IV is DENIED. The Motion to Dismiss Count III is GRANTED.

         I. JURISDICTION

         This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Complete diversity exists between the parties. Plaintiff is a citizen of Illinois. Defendant is incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware and has its principal place of business in Massachusetts. In addition, the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 exclusive of interest and costs. In the Complaint, Plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $75, 000 and alleges that his injuries include the loss of three fingers on his dominant hand.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. Christensen v. Cnty. of Boone, Ill., 483 F.3d 454, 458 (7th Cir. 2007). To state a claim for relief, a plaintiff need only provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing he is entitled to relief and giving the defendant fair notice of the claims. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

         When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting all well-pleaded allegations as true and construing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. Id. However, the complaint must set forth facts that plausibly demonstrate a claim for relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007). A plausible claim is one that alleges factual content from which the Court can reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Merely reciting the elements of a cause of action or supporting claims with conclusory statements is insufficient to state a cause of action. Id.

         III. FACTS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT

         The following facts come from the Amended Complaint and are accepted as true at the motion to dismiss stage. Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081.

         On January 5, 2018, Plaintiff underwent open heart surgery for an acute myocardial infarction secondary to acute occlusion of the left main coronary. An Impella-which is designed and manufactured to be used as a pump during cardiac surgery-was used during his surgery for the purpose for which it was manufactured. The Impella used during Plaintiff's surgery had not been used before.

         Following Plaintiff 's open-heart surgery, Defendant's Impella could not be removed. Therefore, Plaintiff had to undergo another surgical procedure on January 5, 2018. As a result of the inability to remove the Impella, Plaintiff experienced ischemia in his extremities, which resulted in the amputation of the middle three fingers of his left, dominant hand.

         Plaintiff alleges that, when the Impella in question was manufactured, sold, distributed, or left the control of Defendant, it was unreasonably dangerous. Plaintiff alleges that the lead of the Impella, which was supposed to release after the surgical procedure was completed, was improperly manufactured.

         With regard to the negligence and spoliation of evidence claim, Count III, Plaintiff also alleges, on information and belief, that, based on an investigation conducted on behalf of Plaintiff, a representative of Defendant was present when the Impella was removed during the second procedure and that the representative knew the second procedure was necessary due to the inability to remove the Impella following the first procedure. Defendant's representative negligently allowed the spoliation and destruction of the Impella in question, even though it was ...


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