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Vasquez v. Johnson & Johnson

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 17, 2014

Isabel Vasquez, et al.
v.
Johnson & Johnson, et al

For Isabel Vasquez, Dolly Cardenas, Sharon Morningstar, Shirley King, Anna Tucciarone, Laura Gonzalez-Romero, Jo Blackstone, Delores Smith, Charlena Peterson, Vicki Rumsey, Hattie Johnson, Maria Witt, Lillian Joan, Claudia Aleman, Irma Torres, Maria Acosta, Georgina Rodriguez, Bonnie Carrillo, Maria Deroule, Regina Shapiro, Alverda Muhammad, Beth Giardina, Theresa Richards, Shirley Traynor, Marjorie Dees, Glenda Dial, Linda Hodges, Maria Hermida, Jane Thrift, Marleny Mirabal, Hilda Sanchez, Patricia Blanchett, Maria Muniz, Wanda Nuttall, Tammy Potts, Bernice Anderson, Elizabeth Gibson, Barbara Chapman, Adela Ginjauma, Donna Smith, Marsha Lewis, Margaret Hall, Alice Adams, Donna Kinney, Fern Davis, Martha Ater, Alexandra Koch, Linda Mennenga, Evelyn Bess, Redeena Mckamey, Cora Gant, Kathryn Mellinger, Marilyn Lonsky, Christyna Durham, Karen Farmer, Thelma Goodwin, Anna Tate, Mary Golden, Linda Cioppa, Claire Keffer, Nichol Martin, Julie Vann, Wilma Gibbs, Barbara Gurnee, Cindy Gastineau, Linda Feco, Karen Sutton, Edith Stegall, Sandra Ireland, Susan Morris, Patsy Hyder, Shari Futsher, Brenda Wickline, Darlene Ebert, Doris Lee, Manira Bushamie, Carolyn Keck, Amy Kalinoski, Beverly Snow, Karlene Dorey, June Mooney, Betty Ritchie, Nancy Kampsen, Marion Braun, Ann Gregory, Barbara Mego, Betty Compton, Vanessa Lindsay, Ruth Dively, Amy Riedy, Vicki Stern, Carrie Mcgaha, Pamala Davis, Plaintiffs: Amanda C Robinson, Daniel S Robinson, Karen Barth Menzies, Mark P Robinson, Jr, Shannon Lukei, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis Inc, Newport Beach, CA USA.

For Johnson & Johnson, a New Jersey Corporation, Ethicon Inc, a New Jersey Corporation, Ethicon Llc, a Limited Liability company, Defendants: Joshua J Wes, Lauren H Bragin, Mollie Fleming Benedict, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Tucker Ellis LLP, Los Angeles, CA USA.

CIVIL MINUTES--GENERAL

The Honorable JESUS G. BERNAL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Proceedings: Order: (1) GRANTING Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. No. 23); (2) VACATING the Court's November 13, 2014 Order (Doc. No. 23); (3) DENYING Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 19.); and (4) VACATING the December 22, 2014, Hearing (IN CHAMBERS)

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration of Remand Order. (Doc. No. 23.) The Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without a hearing. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After considering the papers timely filed in support of and in opposition to the motion, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion. The Court VACATES its November 13, 2014 Order (Doc. No. 23.) and DENIES Plaintiffs' October 17, 2014 Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 19.) The December 22, 2014, hearing on the motion is VACATED.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 13, 2014, ninety-five individual Plaintiffs filed a complaint in state court against Defendants Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon, LLC, and Does 1 through 500, inclusive (collectively, " Defendants"). (" Compl., " Doc. No. 1-1, Ex. A.) The Complaint alleges that Plaintiffs suffered a variety of injuries from the surgical implantation of pelvic mesh devices designed, tested, manufactured, marketed, sold, and distributed by Defendants. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 1, 138-75.)

On April 16, 2014, Defendants removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Not. of Removal ¶ 4, Doc. No. 1.) On June 18, 2014, the Court remanded the action to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, finding that there was not complete diversity among Plaintiffs and Defendants and thus the Court lacked diversity jurisdiction over this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. See Isabel Vasquez, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., CV 14-2915 JGB (SPx), *3, *5 (C.D. Cal. August 6, 2014.)

On August 22, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Petition for Coordination, requesting that the California Superior Court consider coordination of this action with other similar actions. (" Petition, " Defs.' Mot. to Stay, Doc. No. 11-3, Ex. B.) Specifically, the Petition requested the coordination of this action with three other California Superior Court cases: Violet Rappuchi, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Case No. BC 536366; Maria Baron, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Case No. 30-2014-00706561-CU-PL-CXC; and Lourdes Heredia, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Case No. 30-2014-00706619-CU-PL-CXC. (Petition at 4-5.) Plaintiffs sought coordination pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 404 and California Rules of Court 3.521, et seq. (Petition at 1.) Defendants were served with the Petition on August 26, 2014. (Decl. of Joshua J. Wes ¶ 4, Doc. No. 2).

On September 22, 2014, Defendants again removed this action asserting federal court jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (" CAFA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). (Not. of Removal ¶ ¶ 9, 26, Doc. No. 1.) Defendants also removed the three related actions from California Superior Court; those cases were also assigned to this Court. See Violet Rappuchi, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., CV 14-7392 JGB (SPx); Lourdes Heredia, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., SACV 14-1530 JGB (SPx); Maria Baron, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., SACV 14-1531 JGB (SPx).

On October 17, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Remand this case to state court, contending that removal pursuant to CAFA was improper. (" MTR, " Doc. No. 19.) Pursuant to the state of the law at that time, the Court granted the MTR on November 13, 2014. (" Remand Order, " Doc. No. 22.) On November 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its en banc opinion in Corber v. Xanodyne Pharms., Inc., 771 F.3d 1218, 1220 (9th Cir. 2014). The decision concerned a set of facts similar to those at issue in the MTR.

On November 24, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Remand Order. (" Motion, " Doc. No. 23.) Plaintiffs opposed on December 1, 2014. (" Opp'n, " Doc. No. 24.) Defendants replied on December 3, 2014. (" Reply, " Doc. No. 26.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Motions for reconsideration are governed by both the Local Rules of the Central District and by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Central District Local Rule 7-18 governs a motion for reconsideration brought before this Court, and provides: " [a] motion for reconsideration of the decision on any motion may be made only on the grounds of . . . (b) the emergence ...


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