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Rappuchi v. Johnson & Johnson

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 17, 2014

Violet Rappuchi, et al.
v.
Johnson & Johnson, et al

CIVIL MINUTES--GENERAL

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. 22); (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. 22), 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-four 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 Violet Rappuchi, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., CV 14-2916 JGB (SPx), *3 (C.D. Cal. June 18, 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: Isabel Vasquez, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Case No. BC 536448; 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 Isabel Vasquez, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., CV 14-7391 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 of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such decision." L.R. 7-18.

Similarly, Rules 59(e) and 60(b) govern motions to reconsider a final judgment or order. Walsh v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 2009 WL 4674049, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 2, 2009) (" Motions to reconsider a decision of the court are appropriately brought under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b)."). Rule 54(a) defines " judgment, " as used in the FRCP, to " include[] a decree and any order from which an appeal lies."

Rule 59(e) permits a party to move to alter or amend a judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). A motion under Rule 59 " is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." School Dist. No. 1J, ...


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