United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
Patrick Hanlon United States District Judge
Heaton brought this suit against Boehringer Ingelheim
Pharmaceuticals (“BI”) claiming that Pradaxa, a
medication BI produces, injured him. See dkt. 1-1.
BI filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. Dkt. . Mr. Heaton's
complaint merely recites the elements of a negligence claim
and does not give BI fair notice of the claim against it, so
that motion is GRANTED.
Facts and Background
Because BI has moved for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), the
Court accepts and recites “the well-pleaded facts in
the complaint as true.” McCauley v. City of
Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).
early February 2017, Mr. Heaton was prescribed Pradaxa, a
drug produced by BI. Dkt. 1-1 at 1 ¶ 2. He started
taking the medication, which injured him. Dkt. 1-1 at 1
¶ 3. Mr. Heaton filed a negligence claim in Sullivan
Superior Court and BI removed the case to this Court. Dkt. 1.
BI has filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim. Dkt. 8.
may move under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to
dismiss claims for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.” To survive a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, a complaint must “contain 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
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A facially plausible claim is one that allows
“the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
that standard, a plaintiff must provide “some specific
facts” that “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” McCauley, 671 F.3d at 616
(quoting Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir.
2009)). “The degree of specificity required is not
easily quantified, but ‘the plaintiff must give enough
details about the subject-matter of the case to present a
story that holds together.'” Id. (quoting
Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th
Cir. 2010)). Otherwise, a defendant will not have “fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Applying
the procedural pleading requirements to the applicable
substantive law is “a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” McCauley, 671
F.3d at 616.
ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court will “accept the
well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true, ” but will
not defer to “legal conclusions and conclusory
allegations merely reciting the elements of the claim.”
The Indiana Product Liability Act cause of action
argues that Mr. Heaton can sue only through an Indiana
Product Liability Act (“IPLA”) cause of action,
so his negligence claim should be dismissed with prejudice.
Dkt. 9 at 3, 5-6. Mr. Heaton responds that if the IPLA
governs his complaint, he should be allowed to proceed under
that IPLA cause of action. Dkt. 12 at 2.
Indiana, the IPLA “governs all actions brought by a
user or consumer against a manufacturer for physical harm
caused by a product, regardless of the legal theory upon
which the action is brought.” Piltch v. Ford Motor
Co., 778 F.3d 628, 632 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing Ind. Code
§ 34-20-1-1). Mr. Heaton's negligence claim is
therefore governed by the IPLA because he is a consumer
alleging harm from a product. See id.;
Stegemoller v. ACandS Inc., 767 N.E.2d 974, 975
Heaton's complaint does not cite the IPLA, but the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require complaints to
cite statutes or legal rules and “specifying an
incorrect theory is not fatal.” Bartholet v.
Reishauer A.G. (Zurich), 953 F.2d 1073, 1078 (7th Cir.
1992). Mr. Heaton's complaint is therefore not subject to
dismissal because it fails cite the IPLA. See id.;
Bailey v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-2314-JMS-DML,
2017 WL ...