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Ruperto C. Rivera et al. v. Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals Lp et al.
June 5, 2012
RUPERTO C. RIVERA ET AL.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS LP ET AL. THOMAS E. WALKER ET AL.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS LP ET AL. MERRILEE NESTANDE ET AL.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS LP ET AL.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess
LINKS: 12-02921: 15, 16, 17, 20, 21; 12-00492: 12, 13, 23, 24; 12-00495: 14, 25, 26
Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
These putative class actions arise out of personal injuries allegedly
sustained as a result of using Crestor, a cholesterol-lowing drug
manufactured by Defendant AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
("AstraZeneca") and distributed by Defendant McKesson Corporation
("McKesson"). (Docket No. 1, Not., Ex. 1 [Compl.].)*fn1
On April 3 and 4, 2012, Defendants removed each action to
federal court on the purported basis of diversity of citizenship, 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a), and federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
(Docket No. 1, Not.) Notwithstanding McKesson's California
citizenship, Defendants claimed that the company had
been fraudulently joined purely for the purpose of destroying
diversity jurisdiction. (Not. ¶¶ 14--21.) Plaintiffs have now filed
motions to stay and to remand the actions to state court. (Docket Nos.
20, 21.) Defendants have filed motions to dismiss various causes of
action contained in each complaint, and motions to sever the
multi-plaintiff complaints into separate cases. (Docket Nos. 15, 16,
17.) Because the Court concludes that Defendants have failed to meet
their burden of demonstrating fraudulent joinder, and that the state
law claims contained in the complaints do not raise substantial
federal questions, the motions to remand are GRANTED, and the actions
are REMANDED to Los Angeles County and Riverside County Superior
Courts. Accordingly, the motions to dismiss, to stay, and to sever are
DENIED as moot.
The United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") first approved Crestor® ("Crestor") as a cholesterol-lowering drug in 2003. (Id. ¶ 35.) According to the complaint, "recent news has come to light that casts a shadow on the safety of using Crestor." (Id.) In particular, Plaintiffs allege that the early results of studies looking into the risks of using Crestor are "not encouraging," as the drug has been linked to serious side effects, such as heart muscle disease ...
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