Medtronic, Inc. has removed a personal injury lawsuit involving MiniMed 600-Series insulin pumps to California federal court, asserting state court is not an appropriate venue for the case.
The Medtronic insulin pump lawsuit was initially filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 20th by seven people who allegedly suffered serious injuries and complications when their devices malfunctioned. Six of the plaintiffs had been prescribed the Medtronic MiniMed 670G System for Type 1 diabetes, while the sixth had been using the Medtronic MiniMed 630G System.
Medtronic subsequently filed a Notice of Removal with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, citing, among other things, the diversity of citizenship among the plaintiffs, only one of whom resides in the state. Two plaintiffs live in Ohio and the remaining four are residents of Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, and West Virginia. (Case No. 2:20-cv-04120-DMG-JEM)
“This Court has jurisdiction over this action because: (1) there is complete diversity of citizenship between six of the seven Plaintiffs —all of which are fraudulently misjoined together in one lawsuit under California law—and Defendants; (2) Medtronic MiniMed, Inc., which is a citizen of California for diversity purposes, has not been properly joined and served in this lawsuit; (3) the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs; and (4) the Complaint necessarily raises the substantial and actually disputed issue of federal preemption, providing federal question jurisdiction over the action,” the Notice states.
Medtronic’s MiniMed 600-series insulin pumps are implantable devices indicated to control blood sugar in people with Type 1 diabetes. Last November, the company recalled over 300,000 670G and 630G MiniMed Systems because of a potential defect that could cause the pumps to malfunction.
“Medtronic is recalling the specified insulin pumps due to a missing or broken retainer ring which helps to lock the insulin cartridge into place in the pump’s reservoir compartment,” Medtronic warned. “If the cartridge is not locked firmly into place, under or over delivery of insulin may occur, which could result in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Severe hyperglycemia can result in a loss of consciousness, seizure, and death.”
In February, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) declared the MiniMed insulin pump recall a Class I device recall, indicating there is a high probability that use of the defective pumps could result in serious injury or death. According to the agency, a missing or broken retainer ring had been implicated in at least one death and more than 2,100 injuries. Medtronic had also received over 26,400 complaints of MiniMed insulin pump malfunctions related to this issue.