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In re National Prescription, Opiate Litigation
United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
July 9, 2019
IN RE: NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION, OPIATE LITIGATION
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45251-DAP This document relates to the following cases: Lee County, Va. Dickenson County
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45252-DAP, Washington County, Va.
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45254-DAP, Pittsylvania County
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45247-DAP, City of Norton, Va.
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45249, Henry County, Va.
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45245, Page County
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45275, City of Galax, Va.
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45243, Montgomery County
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45234, Giles County
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45236, City of Alexandria
Purdue Pharma, LP, et al., 1:19 OP 45246
OPINION AND ORDER
AARON POLSTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cases are before the Court on Plaintiffs' Objections to
Filing Plaintiff Fact Sheets and Amended Complaints in this
Court prior to a Ruling on Their Motions to Remand, etc.
Doc #: 1803. Plaintiffs contend that the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over their cases;
thus, they object to being compelled to file Plaintiff Fact
Sheets prior to a ruling on their remand motions.
Id. In support, Plaintiffs cite numerous Fourth
Circuit cases. Id.
December 12, 2017, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation (“JPML”) consolidated for pretrial
management, before the undersigned in the Northern District
of Ohio, actions alleging unlawful marketing and diversion of
prescription opiates by the manufacturers and distributors of
those products nationwide. Doc #: 1. The JPML transferred
approximately 64 cases to me, having concluded that
“centralization will substantially reduce the risk of
duplicative discovery, minimize the possibility of
inconsistent pretrial obligations, and prevent conflicting
rulings on pretrial motions.” Id. at 3. At
that time, there were 16 remand motions pending in the
transferred cases. The JPML noted that “[s]hould the
[undersigned] deem remand of any claims or actions
appropriate . . ., then he may accomplish this by filing a
suggestion of remand to the Panel. . . .As always, we trust
such matters to the sound judgment of the
[undersigned].” Doc #: 1 at 4.
December 13, 2017, the Court held a teleconference with
counsel during which it discussed, among other things, the
subject of remand motions. The Court quickly determined, and
counsel agreed, that a moratorium should be put on briefing
of the remand motions with one exception, State of West
Virginia, et al. v. McKesson Corp.- a case that was
removed a second time after the transferor district
court had remanded it. Minutes of Teleconference etc., Doc #:
4 at 2. As of June 28, 2019, there were 2087 cases and
approximately 70 remand motions pending in this MDL.
addition to the aforementioned authority to conduct pretrial
case management granted to the Court by the JPML, Rule 16 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure grants the Court the
authority to adopt special procedures for managing
potentially difficult or protracted actions that may involve
complex issues, multiple parties, and/or difficult legal
questions. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(c)(2)(L). And finally, federal
courts “possess certain ‘inherent powers,'
not conferred by rule or statute, ‘to manage their own
affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious
disposition of cases.'” Goodyear Tire &
Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 137 S.Ct. 1178, 1186 (2017)
(quoting Link v. Wabash R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31
(1962); Dietz v. Bouldin, 136 S.Ct. 1885 (2016)
(explaining that “district courts have the inherent
authority to manage their dockets and courtrooms with a view
toward the efficient and expedient resolution of
cases.”) (numerous citations omitted).
Court is fully aware of the many pending remand motions
challenging subject matter jurisdiction. However, the Track
One trial is scheduled to begin in mid-October 2019, the
Court and Special Masters are ramping up settlement efforts,
and the Court and its research and writing team are
simultaneously reviewing and addressing 40 Daubert and
summary judgment motions. In order to conserve judicial
resources and manage its MDL docket efficiently, the Court
exercises its inherent authority along with the authority
granted by the JPML and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
not to address Objecting Plaintiffs' remand
motions at this time. The Court assures Objecting Plaintiffs
that it will handle the remand motions in due course.
Plaintiffs' Objections are OVERRULED and
Objecting Plaintiffs are DIRECTED to follow
the MDL procedures relating to the Plaintiff Fact Sheets and
Amended Complaints. Doc #: 1106 at 3 n.7.