Associação Brasileira de Medicina de Grupo, dba Abramge, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Stryker Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Argued: January 25, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan at Grand Rapids. No.
1:16-cv-01366-Robert J. Jonker, Chief District Judge.
James DeRose, III, LOCKE LORD LLP, New York, New York, for
Andrew Portinga, MILLER JOHNSON, Grand Rapids, Michigan, for
James DeRose, III, LOCKE LORD LLP, New York, New York,
Nathaniel R. Wolf, Ross A. Leisman, MIKA MEYERS PLC, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, for Appellant.
Andrew Portinga, David J. Gass, MILLER JOHNSON, Grand Rapids,
Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: NORRIS, BATCHELDER, and STRANCH, Circuit Judges.
B. STRANCH, Circuit Judge.
association of Brazilian health insurance providers sued
Stryker, a Michigan corporation that manufactures and
distributes medical devices, alleging that Stryker's
fraudulent and improper payments to Brazilian doctors
increased the cost of providing healthcare. The district
court dismissed the case under the doctrine of forum non
conveniens, essentially finding that the case should
have been brought in Brazil instead of Michigan. Because
Stryker did not carry its burden of proving that Brazil is an
available and adequate alternative forum in which the case
may be heard, we REVERSE and
Brasileira de Medicina de Grupo (Abramge) is a Brazilian
nonprofit professional association. Its members are private
health insurance providers, many of whom were impacted by a
bribery and kickback scandal in the medical device market
that broke in the Brazilian media in 2015.
to Abramge's complaint, Defendant Stryker, a Michigan
corporation, masterminded an "illicit scheme, which was
planned and run from Michigan, designed to increase its
market share by making improper payments and paying bribes
and kickbacks to Brazilian doctors to induce the use of
Stryker products." On its own and through a wholly owned
Brazilian subsidy and other local agents, Stryker allegedly
"made improper payments and paid kickbacks to Brazilian
doctors with the intent of influencing those doctors to use
Stryker devices and products in patients even if those
devices were not called for or did not best meet the
patients' medical needs." The improper influence
Stryker allegedly brought to bear increased the cost of
devices as well as the number of devices implanted and
surgeries performed; health insurance providers, including
members of Abramge, ...