Court Grants Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Medtronic Infuse Personal Injury Case, Parker Waichman LLP Comments

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The Medtronic Infuse action alleges injuries involving the Infuse Bone Graft and LT Cage Device allegedly used for off-label, or unapproved reasons. The products have been approved by federal regulators for very specific uses.

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“We are pleased to see the Court remand the proceedings to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis where we hope that that these claimants can finally get their day in court,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at Parker Waichman LLP.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm that has long been dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been injured during medical procedures and by medical devices, comments on a Court ruling in which a lawsuit filed against Medtronic, Inc. will be remanded to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis for further proceedings. The action is Dennis Brian Anders, Plaintiffs, et al v. Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., And Does 1 – 100 Defendants, case number No. 4:14cv01637 ERW.

On February 3, 2014, Medtronic filed a Notice of Removal with the Court, asserting diversity jurisdiction and federal question jurisdiction. The plaintiffs moved to remand the case and, on April 24, 2014, the case was remanded to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. (Anders v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 4:14-cv-00194-ERW, 2014 WL 1652352 [E.D. Mo. Apr. 24, 2014])

Parker Waichman LLP explains that a remand is an action that is taken by an appellate court in which the case is returned to the trial court or a lower appellate court for further action.

On December 26, 2013, a number of plaintiffs filed a petition against Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., and others in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri. Allegations involve injuries related to the Infuse® Bone Graft and LT Cage® Device (Infuse®), which is designed, manufactured, and sold by Medtronic. Allegations include that Medtronic and the other defendants were involved in a fraudulent marketing and promotional scheme that advertised illegal and dangerous uses of Infuse®. Because of this, the plaintiffs claim, they underwent surgeries in which Infuse® was used in certain “off label,” or unauthorized, ways, which led to a number of injuries. (Dennis Brian Anders, Plaintiffs, et al v. Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., And Does 1 – 100 Defendants, case number No. 4:14cv01637 ERW, filed October 17, 2014 in the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division)

Parker Waichman LLP comments that it is aware that patients may be harmed during medical procedures and as a result of the use of medical devices and is available to assist those individuals who have suffered injuries related to these procedures and medical products.

Infuse is a genetically engineered, synthetic, recombinant human Bone Morphogenetic Protein (rhBMP-2). The product received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for very specific uses: To stimulate spine growth in patients suffering from lower spinal degenerative disease, for use in one type of spinal surgery, and for use in some dental procedures. Infuse is not approved for use on the cervical (upper) spine; however, the bone graft product is widely used in these off label procedures, Parker Waichman LLP indicated.

According to the action, Medtronic filed a Notice of Removal with the Court on September 29, 2014, asserting jurisdiction through the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA); plaintiffs moved to remand the case. A defendant may remove a case to federal court under specific circumstances; namely, if the claim could have been originally brought in federal court. For the most part, the party seeking removal and opposing remand must establish federal subject matter jurisdiction. Medtronic contends that federal subject matter jurisdiction was met because the plaintiffs allegedly seek to have three cases tried as one, which would qualify the cases as a “mass action” under CAFA. The three cases are the current case; Smith v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 4:13-CV-02220-CEJ; and Hendrich v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 4:14-CV-01635-AGF. All three were removed from the Circuit Court of St. Louis claiming jurisdiction under CAFA as a “mass action.” All three include just fewer than 100 plaintiffs and the same defendants; when combined, the cases meet the minimum requirements for CAFA of over 100 plaintiffs, minimum diversity, and $5,000,000 recovery, the defendants claim. Plaintiffs seek remand on the grounds they have never requested a joint trial and Medtronic’s’ removal was untimely. The Court found that the case lacks federal jurisdiction and should be remanded. (Dennis Brian Anders, Plaintiffs, et al v. Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., And Does 1 – 100 Defendants, case number No. 4:14cv01637 ERW, filed October 17, 2014 in the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division)

The Court found that the plaintiffs did not request the three cases be tried jointly and plaintiffs’ statements in their Opposition only refer to plaintiffs in one case (Anders v. Medtronic, Inc.) and not to the parties in Smith v. Medtronic, Inc., and Hendrich v. Medtronic, Inc., as the defendants alleged. As such, the case shall be remanded to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis for further proceedings. (Dennis Brian Anders, Plaintiffs, et al v. Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc., And Does 1 – 100 Defendants, case number No. 4:14cv01637 ERW, filed October 17, 2014 in the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division)

“We are pleased to see the Court remand the proceedings to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis where we hope that that these claimants can finally get their day in court,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at Parker Waichman LLP. “Individuals who allegedly suffered a serious, life-altering injury during a medical procedure, or loss over alleged misrepresentations, deserve their day in court.”

Parker Waichman LLP offers free legal consultations to victims of injuries allegedly caused by medical procedures. If you or a loved one experienced injuries as a result of a potentially inappropriately conducted medical procedure or due to a medical device, please visit the Medical Devices pages at YourLawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

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