United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff City of Las Vegas's
(“city”) motion to remand to state court. (ECF
No. 6). Defendants CVS Health Corporation, CVS Pharmacy,
Inc., CVS Indiana, L.L.C., CVS Rx Services, Inc. and CVS
Tennessee Distribution, L.L.C. (collectively,
“defendants”) filed a response (ECF No. 21), to
which the city replied (ECF No. 24).
before the court is defendants' motion to stay case
pending likely transfer to multidistrict litigation. (ECF No.
20). The city filed a response (ECF No. 23), to which
defendants replied (ECF No. 25).
instant action arises from the national and widely publicized
opioid crisis. The city sued a variety of entities and
individuals responsible for manufacturing, marketing, and
selling prescription opioids, including Oxycontin, Vicodin,
and Percocet and their generic counterparts. (ECF No. 1-2).
The city groups the defendants into drug manufacturers
(including the individual “Sackler defendants”),
wholesale distributors, detailers, pharmacies, and health
care providers. Id. at 9-22.
city filed suit in the Eighth Judicial District Court,
alleging public nuisance under Nevada and common law,
negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment against
all defendants. Id. at 46-57, 60-61. It also alleges
negligence against the distributors, pharmacies, and health
care providers. Id. at 58-60. Finally, it brings a
claim against certain defendants for alleged violations of
Nevada's Racketeering Act. Id. at 61-88.
Defendants timely removed this action on December 11, 2019.
(ECF No. 1).
case is unextraordinary. In fact, more than 2, 600 similar
cases have been filed by government entities throughout the
country. Many of those cases have been transferred to the
Northern District of Ohio as part of the multidistrict
litigation In re National Prescription Opiate
Litig., MDL No. 2804, (“Opiate
December 23, 2019, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation (“JPML”) entered a conditional
transfer order (“CTO”), finding that this action
appears to “involve questions of fact that are common
to the actions previously transferred to the Northern
District of Ohio and assigned to Judge Polster.”
CTO-127, JPML Dkt. No. 6566. Defendants moved to stay the
case until the JPML renders a final decision on whether to
transfer this action to the Opiate MDL. (ECF No. 20).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,' possessing
‘only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.'” Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251,
256 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a), “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant
or the defendants, to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
the court's jurisdiction is limited by the Constitution
and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332, “[t]he threshold
requirement for removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 is a
finding that the complaint contains a cause of action that is
within the original jurisdiction of the district
court.” Ansley v. Ameriquest Mortg. Co., 340
F.3d 858, 861 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Toumajian v.
Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 653 (9th Cir. 1998)). Thus,
“it is to be presumed that a cause lies outside the
limited jurisdiction of the federal courts and the burden of
establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting
jurisdiction.” Hunter v. Philip Morris USA,
582 F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009).
plaintiff may challenge removal by timely filing a motion to
remand. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). On a motion to remand, the
removing defendant must overcome the “strong
presumption against removal jurisdiction” and establish
that removal is proper. Hunter, 582 F.3d at 1042
(quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th
Cir.1992) (per curiam)). Due to this strong presumption
against removal jurisdiction, the court resolves all
ambiguity in favor of remand to state court. Id.
have broad discretion in managing their dockets. See,
e.g., Landis v. N. American Co., 299 U.S. 248,
254 (1936) (courts have the inherent power to “control
the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of
time and effort for itself, for counsel and for
litigants”). In exercising that discretion, courts are
guided by the goals of securing the just, speedy, and
inexpensive resolution of actions. See Fed. R. Civ.
first-and virtually dispositive-issue before the court is
which motion it should consider first: the motion to remand
or the motion to stay. Other federal courts presiding over
state-law opioid ...