Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Herndon grants dismissal in Xarelto suit for lack of personal jurisdiction

By Olivia Olsen | Oct 10, 2017

BENTON – District judge David R. Herndon granted dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction for several non-Illinois residents in a suit alleging the blood-thinning drug Xarelto caused injuries, after defendants argued that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision provided precedent for doing so.

Elizabeth BeRoussee of Illinois is the only remaining plaintiff in the litigation. 

The case was originally filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court in May and removed to federal court in July, with drug makers basing their notice on the landmark ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Courtof California.

They wrote that 32 non-Illinois plaintiffs from 18 different states had been "embedded in the lawsuit explicitly to destroy diversity jurisdiction," according to Herndon's order,

In his Sept. 26 order, he wrote that the court must determine "whether precedence should be given to personal jurisdiction over subject-matter jurisdiction in ruling on plaintiffs' motion to remand and whether the court possesses personal jurisdiction over defendants; and if claims remain."

Several plaintiffs brought claims against Janssen, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., alleging the drug was not properly researched and tested in clinical trials. 

Herndon's latest order follows other rulings striking the claims of out of state plaintiffs based on the Bristol-Myers Squibb decision. 

In response, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the suit. They argued that one plaintiff was a residence of New Jersey, which is where several of the defendant companies also reside. 

Herndon denied the plaintiffs' motion to remand and granted dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. 

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Johnson & Johnson U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois