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Bailey v. Medtronic, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

December 6, 2017

ROBERT BAILEY, SHANNON BAILEY, Plaintiffs,
v.
MEDTRONIC, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge.

         Robert Bailey alleges that he awoke during the night of June 14, 2015 because his heart defibrillator was shocking him. Two years later, Mr. Bailey and his wife Shannon brought suit against the company that manufactured the defibrillator, Medtronic, Inc. (“Medtronic”), in Marion County Superior Court. [Filing No. 101.] The Baileys allege that Medtronic is liable based on five grounds: negligence, product liability, failure to warn, breach of warranty, and loss of consortium. [Filing No. 1-1 at 5-10.] On July 7, 2017, Medtronic removed the Baileys' suit to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. [Filing No. 1.] One month later, Medtronic filed a Motion to Dismiss, which is now ripe for the Court's review. [Filing No. 10.]

         I.

         Legal Standard

         Under Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim that does not state a right to relief. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide the defendant with “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active Disposal Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Court will not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         II.

         Background

         The following are the factual allegations in the Complaint, which the Court must accept as true at this time:

On January 30, 2008, Robert Bailey had surgery, during which a Virtuoso DR Defibrillator, Model # D154AWG (the “Defibrillator”) was implanted. [Filing No. 1-1 at 4.] The Defibrillator was an implantable cardiac defibrillator sold by Medtronic. [Filing No. 1-1 at 4.]

         On June 14, 2015, Mr. Bailey was awakened at his home because he was being shocked. [Filing No. 1-1 at 4.] His wife, Shannon Bailey, called an ambulance and Mr. Bailey was taken to the hospital. [Filing No. 1-1 at 4.] Once at the hospital, the Defibrillator was surgically removed from Mr. Bailey because the leads in the Defibrillator were broken, causing Mr. Bailey to be shocked. [Filing No. 1-1 at 5.]

         On June 12, 2017, the Baileys filed a suit for damages in Marion County Superior Court on the basis of negligence (Count I), product liability (Count II), failure to warn (Count III), breach of warranty (Count IV), and loss of consortium (Count V). [Filing No. 1-1.] On July 7, 2017, Medtronic removed the suit to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, [Filing No. 1], and on August 11, 2017, Medtronic filed a Motion to Dismiss, [Filing No. 10], which is now fully briefed.

         III.

         Discussion

         Medtronic makes three arguments in support of its Motion to Dismiss, each of which, it contends, renders the Baileys' Complaint defective. [Filing No. 11 at 7-8.] First, Medtronic argues that the Baileys failed to cite the Indiana Product Liability Act (“IPLA”), which governs “all actions for physical harm brought by a consumer against a manufacturer or seller of a product, regardless of the substantive legal theory.” [Filing No. 11 at 10.] Second, Medtronic argues that the Baileys failed to state a claim under the IPLA or any other statute. [Filing No. 11 at 5.] Finally, Medtronic argues that the Baileys' claims fail because they are preempted by federal law. [Filing No. 11 at 13.]

         A. Failure to Mention IPLA in the Complaint

         Medtronic's first argument in support of its Motion to Dismiss is unavailing. Medtronic alleges that the Baileys “have not properly pled any cause of action under the IPLA” because the Complaint “is devoid of any mention of the governing statute” and instead contains “a variety of common law claims and theories.” [Filing No. 11 at 10.] As such, Medtronic argues that “the Court should dismiss any claims not brought pursuant to the IPLA.” [Filing No. 11 at 10.]

         The Baileys do not dispute that their complaint does not mention the IPLA, but contend that their complaint “employs the language” of the IPLA, [Filing No. 28 at 4], and that “[t]here is no requirement that the complaint plead the law in ...


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