ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has dismissed the claims of out-of-state residents in litigation against the maker of blood thinner Pradaxa, citing a landmark Bristol-Myers Squibb ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in June.
U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig of the Eastern District of Missouri on Aug. 3 granted the combined motions of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and related entities to dismiss without prejudice 55 non-Missouri plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction in a case involving 58 plaintiffs. Three plaintiffs were from Missouri.
In the Bristol-Myers Squibb decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected on jurisdictional grounds a California-based action against Bristol-Myers Squibb, which manufactures Plavix. Bristol-Myers Squibb is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in New York.
"As relevant here, Missouri’s long-arm statute authorizes personal jurisdiction over corporate defendants who transact business or commit torts within the state," Fleissig wrote.
She wrote that to satisfy due process, a suit must arise out of or relate to a defendant's contacts with a forum.
In noting the Supreme Court's ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb, Fleissig wrote that the high court found that California court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendants with non-Californians violated due process.
"Here, too, both this Court and the Missouri state court from which this case was removed lack personal jurisdiction over Defendants with respect to the claims of the Non-Missouri Plaintiffs, who have not alleged that they were prescribed, purchased, ingested, or were injured by Pradaxa in Missouri," she wrote.
In ruling for Boehringer, Fleissig also denied the plaintiffs' motion to remand the case to state court.
According to Fleissig’s order, the non-Missouri plaintiffs did not allege they were prescribed Pradaxa, or ingested the drug or were injured by it in Missouri.
"However, Plaintiffs allege that 'Defendants regularly conduct or solicit business in the State of Missouri' and 'derive substantial revenue from goods used or consumed in [ ] Missouri,” the ruling states.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb decision prompted the dismissal of other suits across the country, including at state court in St. Louis where a judge declared a mistrial in litigation against Johnson & Johnson over the use of talcum powder.