United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Steven P. Logan, United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendants Medtronic Incorporated
(“Medtronic Inc.”), Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA
Incorporated (“Sofamor Danek”), Medtronic PLC,
Medtronic, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, and Medtronic Spinal
& Biologics (together, the “Defendants”)
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 85)
(the “Motion”). The Motion was fully briefed on
April 1, 2019. (Docs. 97, 98) Because it would not assist in
resolution of the instant issues, the Court finds the pending
motion is suitable for decision without oral argument. See
LRCiv. 7.2(f); Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); Partridge v.
Reich, 141 F.3d 920, 926 (9th Cir. 1998). The
Court's ruling is as follows.
October 26 and 27, 2010, Kathryn Marie Jones (the
“Plaintiff”) underwent three spinal fusion
surgeries at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. (Doc. 77 at 1)
During the course of her surgeries, the Plaintiff was
implanted with four Medtronic PEEK polymer Clydesdale
intervertebral body fusion devices and one Medtronic PEEK
polymer Capstone intervertebral body fusion device (together,
the “PEEK Devices”). (Doc. 77 at 4) The Plaintiff
alleges that 14 doses of Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft
biological material was “splashed” onto her spine
during the course of the surgery, and one Medtronic titanium
CD Horizon spinal fixation system was also implanted. (Doc.
97 at 4, 42) The Plaintiff's spine failed to fuse, and
the Plaintiff suffers a myriad of physical ailments as a
result of the unsuccessful surgery. (Doc. 77 at 7-8, 50-52)
Plaintiff filed the FAC alleging various product liability
claims, among other claims. (Doc. 77) In summary, the
Plaintiff alleges that the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft
biological material was not supposed to be used with the PEEK
Devices. (Doc. 77 at 4) The Plaintiff alleges that a
different spinal fusion product, the Medtronic Infuse Bone
Graft/LT-Cage Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device (the
“LT-Cage Device”), was designed and manufactured
for use with the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft biological
material. (Doc. 77 at 3) The Plaintiff was not implanted with
the LT-Cage Device. (Doc. 77 at 4) The Plaintiff alleges that
the PEEK Devices “migrate, subside and are expulsed,
” which does not allow the PEEK Devices to contain the
Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft biological material for a long
enough period for spinal fusion to occur. (Doc. 77 at 4)
Plaintiff filed the FAC on January 3, 2019. (Doc. 77) On
January 31, 2019, the Defendants filed the Motion seeking to
dismiss the FAC pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6). (Doc. 85)
plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction
is appropriate.” Picot v. Weston, 780 F.3d
1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2015). Where, as here, a defendant's
motion to dismiss is based on a written record and no
evidentiary hearing is held, “the plaintiff need only
make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts.”
Id. “For a court to exercise personal
jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant, that defendant
must have at least ‘minimum contacts' with the
relevant forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction
‘does not offend traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice.'” Dole Food Co. v.
Watts, 303 F.3d 1104, 1110-11 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
(1945)). “In judging minimum contacts, a court properly
focuses on ‘the relationship among the defendant, the
forum, and the litigation.'” Calder v.
Jones, 465 U.S. 781, 788 (1984) (quoting Shaffer v.
Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 204 (1977)). When no federal
statute specifically defines the extent of personal
jurisdiction, federal courts look to the law of the state
where the district court sits-in this case, Arizona. CE
Distribution, LLC v. New Sensor Corp., 380 F.3d 1107,
1110 (9th Cir. 2004). “Arizona's long-arm rule
permits the exercise of personal jurisdiction to the extent
allowed by the due process clause of the United States
Constitution.” Ochoa v. J.B. Martin & Sons
Farms, Inc., 287 F.3d 1182, 1188 (9th Cir.
jurisdiction may be either general or specific. See
Bancroft & Masters, Inc. v. Augusta Nat'l
Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1086 (9th Cir. 2000). “A
court may assert general jurisdiction over foreign
(sister-state or foreign-country) corporations to hear any
and all claims against them when their affiliations with the
State are so ‘continuous and systematic' as to
render them essentially at home in the forum State.”
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 131
S.Ct. 2846, 2851 (2011) (citing Int'l Shoe, 326
U.S. at 317).
deciding whether a defendant is subject to specific personal
jurisdiction, federal courts consider whether (1) the
non-resident defendant purposefully directs his activities or
consummates some transaction with the forum or resident
thereof; or performs some act by which he purposefully avails
himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the
forum, thereby invoking the benefits and protections of its
laws; (2) the claim arises out of or relates to the
defendant's forum-related activities; and (3) the
exercise of jurisdiction comports with fair play and
substantial justice, i.e. it must be reasonable.
Picot, 780 F.3d at 1211 (citing Schwarzenegger
v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 802 (9th Cir.
2004). The plaintiff has the burden of proving the first two
prongs. CollegeSource, Inc. v. AcademyOne, Inc., 653
F.3d 1066, 1076 (9th Cir. 2011). If he does so, the burden
shifts to the defendant to “set forth a
‘compelling case' that the exercise of jurisdiction
would not be reasonable.” Id. (quoting
Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 477
(1985)). For claims sounding in tort, courts apply a
“purposeful direction” test and look to evidence
that the defendant has directed his actions at the forum
state, even if those actions took place elsewhere.
Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802.
survive a FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief” such
that the defendant is given “fair notice of what the .
. . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). The Court may dismiss a complaint for
failure to state a claim under FRCP 12(b)(6) for two reasons:
(1) lack of a cognizable legal theory, and (2) insufficient
facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri
v. Pacificia Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must “accept as
true all well-pleaded allegations of material fact, and
construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party.” Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ.
Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). In
comparison, “allegations that are merely conclusory,
unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable
inferences” are not entitled to the assumption of
truth, and “are insufficient to defeat a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim.” Id.;
In re Cutera Sec. Litig., 610 F.3d 1103, 1108 (9th
Cir. 2010). A plaintiff need not prove the case on the
pleadings to survive a motion to dismiss. OSU Student
All. v. Ray, 699 F.3d 1053, 1078 (9th Cir. 2012).
FRCP 12(b)(2) Lack of ...