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Yasmin Lawsuit Belongs in Federal Court, Court Says

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Cathy M. Walton of Illinois brought a product liability suit in a state court against Bayer alleging she suffered injuries after taking the prescription oral contraceptive Yasmin, manufactured by a German affiliate of Bayer.

In an effort to avoid removal to federal court, Walton joined the Niemann Foods- operated local pharmacy where she bought the Yasmin, as a defendant in an effort to eliminate diversity jurisdiction.

Bayer argued the pharmacy had been illegally joined, so diversity jurisdiction still existed and the case should be removed to federal court. Diversity jurisdiction is a law that allows federal district courts to hear cases that must be resolved according to state law. If Walton and the pharmacy would have been joined as defendants, the diversity of citizenship would have been eliminated, therefore the case would have been heard in state court.

The 7th Circuit court agreed and removed the lawsuit to federal court stating that “a plaintiff can defeat the fraudulent-joinder exception to the requirement of complete diversity of citizenship by proving that his claim against the nondiverse defendant is no weaker than his claim against the diverse defendants.”

The court also concluded that the common-defense exception is barred because Walton alleged that Bayer concealed information about the side-effects of Yasmin, but not that the pharmacy did.

The court said “The learned-intermediary doctrine that shields Niemann does not shield {Bayer}, and thus is not a defense common both to the diverse defendants and to the nondiverse one.” disclaimer: This article: Yasmin Lawsuit Belongs in Federal Court, Court Says was posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 7:08 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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