Dayton, OH (PRWEB) February 27, 2013
Wright & Schulte LLC, an experienced drug injury law firm, reports that a federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by alleged victims of Darvon and Darvocet side effects should be remanded back to Los Angeles Superior Court. In an Order dated February 20, 2013, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, found that the Defendants had failed to meet their burden of establishing that removal to federal court was proper. (Rentz, et al. v. McKesson Corp., et al., Case No. 2:12-cv-09945)
Darvon, Darvocet and generic versions of Propoxyphene were withdrawn from the U.S. market in November 2010, after studies showed that healthy people taking normal doses of the painkiller had experienced serious heart side effects, including heart attacks, heart arrhythmia, and sudden death. In June 2012, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all federally-filed Darvon, Darvocet and Propoxyphene lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation, and transferred the cases to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky. Richard Schulte, a partner with Wright & Schulte LLC, is serving as Co-Lead Counsel in that litigation. (In Re: Darvocet, Darvon and Propoxyphene. Products Liability Litigation - MDL 2226) The Firm offers free lawsuit evaluations to victims of heart side effects allegedly associated with the use Darvon, Darvocet and generic versions of Propoxyphene. If you or someone you love suffered a heart attack, heart arrhythmia, or sudden death due to one of these medications, please visit http://www.yourlegalhelp.com, or call toll-FREE 1-800-399-0795 to learn more about your options for legal recourse.
According to court documents, the Rentz case was one of 26 similar lawsuits pending in the Central District of California that allege injuries due to the ingestion of Darvon, Darvocet and Propoxyphene. Judge Guttierez’s February 20th Order states that the complaint had originally been filed in May 2012 in Los Angeles Superior Court, but Defendants have twice had the Rentz lawsuit removed to the Central District of California. On the first occasion, Defendants had removed the action on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. But the Court ruled this improper, finding there was not complete diversity between the parties.
In October 2012, the Rentz Plaintiffs, along with Plaintiffs in six other California Propoxyphene lawsuits, filed a Petition for Coordination in state court. This prompted Defendants to again remove the Rentz lawsuit to the Central District of California, asserting in their Notice of Removal that the Petition made the action a “mass action” that is removable pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In December 2012, the Court ordered the Defendants to file an Order to Show Cause as to why the Rentz lawsuit should not be remanded to state court.
In his Order to Remand the Rentz case, Judge Guttierez pointed out that under the CAFA, removal is proper when, among other things, at least 100 Plaintiffs have proposed to try their case jointly. Defendants held that this condition was satisfied by the Plaintiffs’ Petition for Coordination, and cited a recent Seventh Circuit decision that held a motion to consolidate in Illinois state court was sufficient to confer federal mass action jurisdiction (In re Abbott Labs., Inc., 698 F.3d 568 (7th Cir. 2012)). However, Judge Guttierez found that the Seventh Circuit Decision was not binding on the Court, and further pointed out that several district courts within the Ninth Circuit – where the Central District of California is located – had already declined to follow Abbot in ruling on other motions to remand Propoxyphene actions. Among other things, Judge Guttierez points out that the Abbott Plaintiffs had specifically stated they were requesting consolidation “through trial” and “not solely for pretrial proceedings.” However, the Petition for Coordination filed by the California Plaintiffs contains no such language. “Plaintiffs’ separate state court actions may become removable at some later point if they seek to join their claims for trial,” Judge Guttierez writes. “However, unless and until that happens, they do not constitute a mass action and removal under CAFA is improper.”
About Wright & Schulte LLC
Wright & Schulte LLC, an experienced drug injury law firm, is dedicated to the belief that America’s legal system should work for the people. Every day, the attorneys of Wright & Schulte LLC stand up for the rights of people who have been injured or wronged, and fight tirelessly to ensure that even the world’s most powerful corporations take responsibility for their actions. If you’re looking for a law firm that will guarantee the aggressive and personal representation you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact Wright & Schulte LLC today. Free Darvon and Darvocet lawsuit evaluations are available through yourlegalhelp.com, or call 1-800-399-0795.
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