Many people who took Byetta, suffered an injury, and are considering suing Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Amylin) will need to hire a competent Byetta lawyer who will help them decide which court to file their cases in. The choice of where to file is an important one that can have substantial consequences to a plaintiff’s case. Sometimes plaintiffs might have to provide more evidence to demonstrate they are entitled to compensation, and some states will be stricter or more lenient about allowing punitive damages, if available. One California Byetta plaintiff’s story demonstrates the difficulty of ensuring that a Byetta lawsuit stays in the court of her choice. In Smith v. Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LLC, et al., plaintiff Dawn Smith won a motion in California federal district court to remand her case back to California state court, after Amylin removed her case to federal court.
Case Concerns Second, In-State Defendant
Smith sued Amylin, a non-California resident corporation, in San Diego Superior Court, but she also sued the company that distributed the drug, McKesson Corporation (McKesson), which is incorporated in Delaware but operates in California. Not content to proceed in state court, Amylin removed the case to federal court by claiming that even if McKesson is a citizen of California, Smith “fraudulently joined” McKesson to her case. Plaintiffs cannot take their cases to federal court unless their cases either concern a question of federal law, or the parties are from separate states. If McKesson was fraudulently joined, its California citizenship would not hinder Smith’s case from proceeding in federal court.
“Fraudulent joinder” is a legalistic term, not a moral one. In other words, Amylin didn’t argue that Smith committed some fraudulent act by adding McKesson to her complaint but that she failed to state a valid claim against McKesson under state law. The purpose of “fraudulent joinder” is to ensure that plaintiffs don’t sue unrelated, same-state citizens just to stay out of federal court.
Amylin argued that Smith’s “failure to warn” claims were preempted by federal law, and Smith countered, among other things, that preemption is a defense that has no bearing on whether McKesson is a citizen of California. Amylin also contended that Smith alleged no clear claims against McKesson, and that all McKesson did is distribute unopened containers of Byetta. The federal district court held that California products liability applies to distributors as much as manufacturers.
Because Amylin could not show that McKesson was fraudulently joined, the district court sided with plaintiff Smith and remanded the case back to San Diego Superior Court.
RLG Advocates for Byetta Users
In Smith, Amylin hoped to keep a Byetta plaintiff’s case out of the court of her choosing to take it instead to federal court, which might be more sympathetic to its version of the facts. If you believe Byetta injured you, then you might discover that Amylin will play procedural games to put your case where it wants it. That means you should hire an experienced Byetta lawyer to represent you and help you obtain the lost earnings, full medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages that you deserve. Click on this link or call 1-888-724-1096 for a complimentary, confidential consultation with a lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group.