United States District Court, D. Hawaii
PATRICIA SEGOVIA, INDIVIDUALLY and as PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF THOMAS SEGOVIA, SR., DECEASED, Plaintiff,
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY and PFIZER, INC., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB
COMPANY AND PFIZER INC.'S MOTION TO STAY
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”) and Pfizer
Inc. seek to stay this case, pending a decision by the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
(“JPML”) on Defendants' Motion For Transfer
Of Related Eliquis (Apixaban) Products Liability Actions For
Coordinated Pretrial Proceedings Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1407 (“MDL Motion”). Dkt. No. 51-3. Because the
balance of pertinent factors weighs in favor of
Defendants' request - notably, the conservation of
judicial resources, the potential for conflicting decisions,
and the absence of prejudice to Plaintiff - the Motion to
Stay is GRANTED.
Patricia Segovia (“Plaintiff”), individually and
on behalf of the estate of her deceased husband, Thomas
Segovia (“Segovia”), alleges that Segovia died as
a result of taking Eliquis, an anti-coagulant developed by
BMS and Pfizer. The Court previously granted Plaintiff leave
to file a Second Amended Complaint, see Dkt. No. 40,
which Plaintiff filed on May 12, 2016. Dkt. No. 41. On June
6, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Fraud Claims In
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, see Dkt.
No. 44, and the Court heard oral argument on that motion on
October 14, 2016. Dkt. No. 50.
October 13, 2016, Defendants filed a Notice of Filing of
their MDL Motion before the JPML, pursuant to Panel Rule 6.2.
Dkt. No. 49. The MDL Motion requests that thirty-four related
actions, including this case, be consolidated in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
for coordinated pretrial proceedings, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1407. The present Motion to Stay followed on October
19, 2016. Dkt. No. 51. Defendants request a stay of all
proceedings until thirty days after a ruling by the JPML on
their MDL Motion. Plaintiff opposes any stay and plans to
oppose creation of an MDL in the Eliquis cases.
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control disposition of the cases on its
docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). “The exertion of
this power calls for the exercise of sound discretion.”
CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.
1962); see Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706
(1997) (“The District Court has broad discretion to
stay proceedings as an incident to its power to control its
own docket.”); Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398
F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005) (“A district court has
discretionary power to stay proceedings in its own
court[.]”). When a stay is requested because of pending
proceedings that bear on the case, the Court may grant a stay
in the interests of the efficiency of its own docket and
fairness to the parties. See Leyva v. Certified Grocers
of Cal. Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863 (9th Cir. 1979).
context of a motion to stay pending a motion to consolidate
cases before the JPML, district courts consider the following
factors: (1) the judicial resources that would be saved by
avoiding duplicative litigation if the cases are in fact
consolidated; (2) hardship and inequity to the moving party
if the action is not stayed; and (3) potential prejudice to
the non-moving party. See Summa v. McKesson Corp.,
2013 WL 3948844, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 30, 2013) (citing
Rivers v. Walt Disney Co., 980 F.Supp. 1358, 1360
(C.D. Cal. 1997)); see also In re Hawaii State Asbestos
Cases, 2011 WL 4478502, at *8 (D. Haw. Sept. 26, 2011)
(citing Ortiz v. Menu Foods, Inc., 525 F.Supp.2d
1220, 1232 (D. Haw. 2007)).
Analysis Of Factors
considered the relevant factors and in an exercise of its
discretion, the Court concludes that a temporary stay of this
action is appropriate pending a decision by the JPML on
Defendants' MDL Motion.
of judicial resources is a primary factor to consider in
evaluating a motion to stay proceedings pending a transfer to
an MDL court. See Rivers, 980 F.Supp. at 1360-61. A
stay is appropriate when it would avoid the needless
duplication of work and the possibility of inconsistent
rulings. Freitas v. McKesson Corp., 2012 WL 161211,
at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 10, 2012) (citing Rivers, 980
F.Supp. at 1360-61). In Rivers, the district court
explained that judicial efficiency can be served by granting
a motion to stay where the court would otherwise have to
engage in the “intricacies” of a case, which
ultimately an MDL judge may have to duplicate. 980 F.Supp. at
1360-61. Here, the Court ...