United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
ZIMMER U.S. INC., BIOMET ORTHOPEDICS LLC, and BIOMET SPORTS MEDICINE LLC, Plaintiffs,
PAUL SIKKELEE and MEDACTA USA INC., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Miller, Jr. Judge United States District Court
US, Inc., Biomet Orthopedics, LLC, and Biomet Sports
Medicine, LLC sued Paul Sikkelee and Medacta USA, Inc. in
Kosciusko County Circuit Court for breaching restrictive
covenants, unfair competition, and tortious interference with
contract. The defendants removed the case to this court and
the plaintiffs now ask for remand.
plaintiffs allege the following. Zimmer US, Biomet
Orthopedics, and Biomet Sports Medicine are all subsidiaries
of Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. Paul Sikkelee was a sales
representative for Zimmer Biomet medical devices, working for
G. Barnett, Inc. d/b/a Biomet Summit Surgical. He signed
non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in favor of
Biomet Orthopedics and Biomet Sports Medicine. While in this
position, he grew Zimmer Biomet's business with St.
Luke's Hospital in Columbus, North Carolina and, in
particular, with surgeon Dr. Brian Rosenburg.
Sikkelee stopped selling devices for Biomet Summit Surgical
and started selling for Medacta, another medical device
company and Zimmer Biomet competitor. Soon after he started
selling Medacta devices, St. Luke's Hospital and Dr.
Rosenburg switched nearly all of their business from Zimmer
Biomet to Medacta devices. Mr. Sikkelee continues to sell for
Medacta and to court business from St. Luke's Hospital
and Dr. Rosenburg. The plaintiffs claim that Mr. Sikkelee
breached the non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in
his contracts with Biomet Summit Surgical and in favor of
Biomet Orthopedics and Biomet Sports Medicine.
Kirschner was another sales representative for Zimmer Biomet
medical devices. He signed a non-compete and non-solicitation
agreement in favor of Zimmer US. Mr. Kirschner then stopped
selling Zimmer Biomet products and began working as a
territory manager for Medacta. In this position, he developed
Medacta business in the same territory where he had sold
Zimmer Biomet products.
Zimmer U.S. threatened to enforce the non-compete and
non-solicitation agreement against Mr. Kirschner, Mr.
Kirschner entered into a settlement agreement with Zimmer US,
restricting the scope of his duties for Medacta and releasing
Mr. Kirschner from Zimmer US's claims against him. The
agreement didn't release Medacta. Even after settlement,
Medacta allegedly encouraged Mr. Kirschner to take part in
recruiting activities that violated his settlement agreement.
plaintiffs are suing Medacta for tortiously interfering with
their respective contracts with Mr. Sikkelee and Mr.
Kirschner. They sue Mr. Sikkelee for breaching and tortiously
interfering with his non-compete and non-solicitation
agreements with Biomet Sports Medicine and Biomet
Orthopedics. They sue Mr. Sikkelee and Medacta for unfair
competition by using confidential information Mr. Sikkelee
acquired while selling Zimmer Biomet products for the benefit
plaintiffs allege that Zimmer U.S. is incorporated in
Delaware and has its principal place of business in Indiana.
They say Biomet Orthopedics and Biomet Sports Medicine are
Indiana limited liability companies with their principal
places of business in Indiana. They say Mr. Sikkelee is a
citizen of North Carolina and Medacta is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois.
plaintiffs sued in the Kosciusko County Circuit Court. The
defendants then filed a notice of removal, removing the case
to this court. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(a), 1446(a). The
plaintiffs now ask this court to remand the case back to the
county court, arguing that the defendants' notice was
defective and that this court doesn't have subject matter
jurisdiction. §§ 1332, 1447(c).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and may only
exercise jurisdiction where it is specifically authorized by
federal statute.” Evers v. Astrue, 536 F.3d
651, 657 (7th Cir. 2008). Defendants in a state court case
can remove to federal court if the federal court would have
original jurisdiction over the case. 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). One route for original jurisdiction is
“complete diversity between all named plaintiffs and
all named defendants, and no defendant is a citizen of the
forum state.” Lincoln Prop. Co. v. Roche, 546
U.S. 81, 84 (2005); § 1332(a). To remove, the defendants
must file a “notice of removal . . . containing a short
and plain statement of the grounds for removal.” §
to comply with § 1446 is a “defect in the removal
procedure” that justifies a motion to remand within 30
days of filing the notice of removal. § 1447(c); In
re Cont'l Cas. Co., 29 F.3d 292, 293 (7th Cir.
1994). If the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it
must remand, with or without motion, at any time. §
1447(c). “Any doubt regarding jurisdiction should be
resolved in favor of the states[, ] and the burden of
establishing federal jurisdiction falls on the party seeking
removal.” Doe v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 985 F.2d
908, 911 (7th Cir. 1993). The plaintiffs moved for remand
within 30 days of the defendants' notice of removal. ...