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Davis v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 19, 2014

BRUCE DAVIS
v.
WRIGHT MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY, INC. ET AL

Peter Kaufman Attorneys Present for Plaintiff.

Micaela Banach Attorneys Present for Defendants.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.

Proceedings: MOTION TO DISMISS (Dkt. 7, filed April 10, 2014)

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

On April 3, 2014, plaintiff Bruce Davis filed this action against defendants Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Wright Medical Group, Inc., Advanced Surgical Devises, Inc., William Zurowski, and Does 1-50 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiff asserts claims for (1) strict products liability - manufacturing defect, (2) strict products liability - failure to warn, (3) strict products liability - unreasonably dangerous design, (4) negligence, (5) negligence - failure to recall/retrofit, (6) breach of express warranty, (7) breach of implied warranty, (8) fraudulent misrepresentation, (9) fraudulent concealment, (10) negligent misrepresentation. On March 12, 2014, defendants removed the case to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction.[1] Dkt. 1. In brief, plaintiff alleges that he underwent total hip replacement surgery in 2007, in which doctors surgically implanted defendants' PROFEMUR Total Hip System. Compl. ¶ 65. On September 28, 2011, the "neck" of plaintiff's hip implant fractured while plaintiff was walking his dog. Id . ¶ 68. Plaintiff alleges that defendants concealed a long history of this type of fracture involving PROFEMUR hip replacements.

On April 10, 2014, Wright Medical Technology moved to dismiss plaintiff's third, sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth claims, as well as plaintiff's request for punitive damages. Dkt. 7. On April 28, 2014, plaintiff filed his opposition, dkt. 10, and on May 5, 2014, Wright Medical Technology replied, dkt. 13. On May 19, 2014, the Court held a hearing. After considering the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Motion to Dismiss

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in a complaint. "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[F]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

In considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, as well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn from them. Pareto v. F.D.I.C. , 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998). The complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors , 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); Parks Sch. of Bus., Inc. v. Symington , 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995). However, "[i]n keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009); Moss v. United States Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[F]or a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.") (citing Twombly and Iqbal); Sprewell , 266 F.3d at 988; W. Mining Council v. Watt , 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). Ultimately, "[d]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1950.

Furthermore, unless a court converts a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into a motion for summary judgment, a court cannot consider material outside of the complaint (e.g., facts presented in briefs, affidavits, or discovery materials). In re American Cont'l Corp./Lincoln Sav. & Loan Sec. Litig. , 102 F.3d 1524, 1537 (9th Cir. 1996), rev'd on other grounds sub nom Lexecon, Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach , 523 U.S. 26 (1998). A court may, however, consider exhibits submitted with or alleged in the complaint and matters that may be judicially noticed pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 201. In re Silicon Graphics Inc. Sec. Litig. , 183 F.3d 970, 986 (9th Cir. 1999); Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th Cir. 2001).

For all of these reasons, it is only under extraordinary circumstances that dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v. City of Redwood City , 640 F.2d 963, 966 (9th Cir. 1981).

As a general rule, leave to amend a complaint which has been dismissed should be freely granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). However, leave to amend may be denied when "the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency." Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co. , 806 ...


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