United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
HONORABLE SARA LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the motion of plaintiffs Heather and Anthony
Lecce to remand this case to the Richland County Court of
Common Pleas. (Doc. No. 8 [“Mot.”].) Defendants
Medtronic, Inc. and Medtronic USA, Inc. filed a brief in
opposition (Doc. No. 12 [“Opp'n”]) and
plaintiffs filed a reply (Doc. No. 13 [“Reply”]).
For the reasons discussed herein, plaintiffs' motion for
remand is GRANTED.
October 18, 2017, plaintiff Heather Lecce
(“Heather”) received care, including but not
limited to the interrogation of her pacemaker, by defendant
Nationwide Children's Hospital's agents, servants,
and/or employees, and defendants Medtronic, Inc.'s and
Medtronic USA, Inc.'s (collectively,
“Medtronic”) agents, servants and/or employees in
a hospital owned and operated by defendant Medcentral Health
Systems d/b/a OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. (Doc. No. 1-1,
Complaint [“Compl.”] ¶ 11.) Immediately
following her provided care, Heather experienced
complications with her Medtronic pacemaker. (Id.
October 17, 2018, Heather and her husband plaintiff Anthony
Lecce (“Anthony”) filed the instant action in the
Richland County Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiffs'
complaint alleges four claims for relief: (1) medical
malpractice, (2) negligence, (3) products liability, and (4)
loss of consortium. On November 23, 2018, Medtronic removed
this action to this Court. (Doc. No. 1 [“Not.”].)
On November 30, 2018, plaintiffs filed the present motion to
remand. This issue is now ripe for the Court's review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), defendants may remove a civil
action from a state court only when the federal court has
original jurisdiction over the claims alleged in the state
court complaint. “The party seeking removal bears the
burden of demonstrating that the district court has original
jurisdiction.” Eastman v. Marine Mech. Corp.,
438 F.3d 544, 549 (6th Cir. 2006). “‘[B]ecause
lack of jurisdiction would make any decree in the case void
and the continuation of the litigation in federal court
futile, the removal statute should be strictly construed and
all doubts resolved in favor of remand.'”
Id. at 549-50 (quoting Brown v. Francis, 75
F.3d 860, 864-65 (3d Cir. 1996)).
federal court has original federal-question jurisdiction in
“all civil actions arising under the Constitution,
laws, or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. An action “arises under” federal law
if: (1) “federal law creates the cause of action[,
]” or (2) “the vindication of a right under state
law necessarily turned on some construction of federal
law.” Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v. Thompson, 478
U.S. 804, 808-09, 106 S.Ct. 3229, 92 L.Ed.2d 650 (1986)
(quoting Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation
Tr., 463 U.S. 1, 9, 103 S.Ct. 2841, 77 L.Ed.2d 420
the plaintiff is the master of his or her own complaint and
federal jurisdiction must be apparent “on the
face” of the “properly pleaded complaint.”
Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392, 107
S.Ct. 2425, 96 L.Ed.2d 318 (1987). The “mere presence
of a federal issue in a state cause of action does not
automatically confer federal-question jurisdiction.”
Merrell Dow, 478 U.S. at 813.
even when a claim originates in state law, the Supreme Court
has recognized that “in certain cases federal-question
jurisdiction will lie over state-law claims that implicate
significant federal issues.” Grable & Sons
Metal Prods., Inc. v. Darue Eng'g & Mfg., 545
U.S. 308, 312, 125 S.Ct. 2363, 162 L.Ed.2d 257 (2005).
“The doctrine captures the commonsense notion that a
federal court ought to be able to hear claims recognized
under state law that nonetheless turn on substantial
questions of federal law, and thus justify resort to the
experience, solicitude, and hope of uniformity that a federal
forum offers on federal issues[.]” Grable, 545
U.S. at 312.
removing party bears the burden of establishing that
federal-question jurisdiction exists. Long v. Bando Mfg.
of Am., Inc., 201 F.3d 754, 757 (6th Cir. 2000).
“All doubts as to the propriety of removal are resolved
in favor of remand.” Coyne v. Am. Tobacco Co.,
183 F.3d 488, 493 (6th Cir. 1999).
contends that the Court possesses federal-question
jurisdiction over this case because plaintiffs' claims
stem from alleged complications and negligent care of
Heather's pacemaker, which is categorized as a Class III
medical device under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
(“FDCA”), subject to the most rigorous review by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).
Specifically, Medtronic contends that federal-question
jurisdiction lies over plaintiffs' state-law claims
because plaintiffs' claims will require the Court to
“second-guess the design, manufacturing, and
programming of this Class III medical device, ” and the
Court's decision “necessarily will ‘implicate
significant federal issues' and ‘turn on
substantial questions of federal law.'” (Not.
¶ 18 (citing Grable, 545 U.S. at 312).)
Alternatively, Medtronic contends there is a substantial
federal question in this case because the Medical Device
Amendments of 1976 (“MDA”) to the FDCA
“expressly preempts any state-law claim that would
impose a requirement that is ‘different from, or in
addition to' those imposed by the FDA.” (Not.
¶ 14; Opp'n at 85.)