United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division
JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE
Perry and Kristi Jewett filed this action against defendants
in South Dakota state court. (Docket 1-1 at pp. 3-35). The
complaint alleges ten counts: medical negligence, vicarious
liability, strict products liability failure to warn, strict
products liability design defect, negligence, breach of
express warranty, breach of implied warranty, violations of
consumer fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices, loss
of consortium and punitive damages. Id. at pp.
removed the case to this court. (Docket 1). Defendants then
moved the court to sever the defendants. (Docket 6).
Defendants also filed a motion to stay the case pending a
decision from the United States Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) “on
transfer of this case to the Southern District of Indiana as
part of MDL No. 2570, In re: Cook Medical, Inc.,
IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation.” (Docket 8 at ¶ 1-2). Plaintiffs
filed a motion to remand the case to state court and a motion
to expedite the briefing schedule for the remand motion, or
alternatively a motion for sua sponte review of
jurisdiction. (Dockets 11 & 15).
12, 2017, shortly after defendants' removal and each
side's motions, the clerk of the JPML entered a
conditional transfer order (“CTO”) pursuant to
Rule 7.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1407. (Docket 17-1 at p. 1). The CTO transfers this
case “to the Southern District of Indiana . . . and,
with the consent of that court, [is] assigned to the
Honorable Richard L. Young.” Id. The CTO goes
on to state:
This order does not become effective until it is filed in the
Office of the Clerk of the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Indiana. The transmittal of this
order to said Clerk shall be stayed 7 days from the entry
thereof. If any party files a notice of opposition with the
Clerk of the Panel within this 7-day period, the stay will be
continued until further order of the Panel.
Id. In light of the CTO, the court finds it
necessary to enter this order resolving defendants'
pending motion to stay the case.
proponent of a stay bears the burden of establishing its
need.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708
(1997); see Kreditverein der Bank Austria v.
Nejezchleba, 477 F.3d 942, 948 (8th Cir. 2007) (citing
Jones for this proposition). A “district court
ha[s] the inherent power to grant [a] stay in order to
control its docket, conserve judicial resources, and provide
for a just determination of the cases pending before
it.” Contracting Northwest, Inc. v. City of
Fredericksburg, Iowa, 713 F.2d 382, 387 (8th Cir. 1983);
Gen. Mills Mktg. v. Fritsch GmbH, No. 11-2099, 2012
WL 12894829, at *2 (D. Minn. Apr. 17, 2012) (citing
Contracting Northwest for this proposition).
“Courts frequently grant stays when an MDL decision is
pending, particularly when the plaintiff would not be
prejudiced by a slight delay.” Noland v. Enter.
Holdings, Inc., No. 10-2140, 2010 WL 2555122, at *1 (D.
Kan. June 22, 2010) (citing Cajun Offshore Charters, LLC
v. BP Prods. N. America, Inc., No. 10-1341, 2010 WL
2160292, at *2 (E.D. La. May 25, 2010)). “When, as
here, the MDL panel has already issued a conditional transfer
order, the majority of courts have concluded that it is
appropriate to stay the case pending a final decision by the
MDL panel because the delay is typically brief and a stay
would further the aim of judicial efficiency.”
Id. (collecting cases from United States District
Courts from the Southern District of Alabama, Northern
District of California, Northern District of Illinois and
Eastern District of Louisiana).
Edens v. Volkswagen Group of American, Inc., the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
considered circumstances parallel to this case. No.
16-CV-0750, 2016 WL 3004629, at *1-2 (D. Minn. May 24, 2016).
The Edens defendant moved to stay the case, and a
CTO for the case was pending. Id. at *2. The
Edens court stated the following on MDLs in
connection with this situation:
The purpose of an MDL is to coordinate or consolidate
pretrial proceedings “for the convenience of parties
and witnesses and [to] promote the just and efficient conduct
of such actions.” 28 U.S.C. § 1407(a). Such
coordination is necessary to “avoid inconsistent
pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel and the judiciary.” In re Vioxx
Prods. Liab. Litig., 360 F.Supp.2d 1352, 1354 (J.P.M.L.
2005). Therefore, deferring the resolution of certain
pretrial matters until the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation (“JPML”) renders a decision as to
whether a case should be transferred to the MDL court may be
appropriate. Calder v. A.O. Smith Corp., No.
04-cv-1481, 2004 WL 1469370, at *1 (D. Minn. June 1, 2004).
Indeed, to conserve judicial resources, “it is often
appropriate to stay preliminary pretrial proceedings while a
motion to transfer and consolidate is pending with the MDL
Panel.” See Rivers v. Walt Disney Co., 980
F.Supp. 1358, 1362 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (observing that a
majority of courts have reached this conclusion).
Id. On the issue of whether to stay the case,
Edens found conservation of judicial resources
weighed in favor of a stay. Id. Because a CTO was
entered, Edens noted the “JPML will consider
[plaintiffs'] objections to transfer . . . .”
Id. “Absent a stay, if this case is
transferred to the MDL, this Court will have expended its
resources familiarizing itself with the facts and law of the
case that will be heard by another judge.” Id.
plaintiffs here may experience prejudice from the stay, the
court finds it “would be minimal.” Id.
Similar to the Edens court, this court “is
mindful that there will be some delay and inconvenience to
[plaintiffs] if a stay is granted.” Id.
“But if this case is transferred to the MDL, the
efficiencies gained through the MDL will benefit all
parties.” Id. (emphasis in original).
court finds the advantages of staying the case and conserving
judicial resources outweigh the prejudice potentially
inflicted on ...