Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mondul v. Biomet, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Abingdon Division

June 26, 2019

LESLIE B. MONDUL, Plaintiff,
v.
BIOMET, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

          Mary Lynn Tate, Tate Law PC, Abingdon, Virginia, for Plaintiff;

          Dabney J. Carr, IV, Troutman Sanders LLP, Richmond, Virginia, and Matthew T. Albaugh and Erica K. Drew, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana, for Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          James P. Jones United States District Judge

         In this diversity action, plaintiff Leslie B. Mondul brings claims of negligence, gross negligence, and breach of express and implied warranty arising out of a hip replacement surgery in which an allegedly defective device designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold by the defendants was implanted in her hip. Among other things, she seeks $20 million in punitive damages. One of the defendants, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., has moved to dismiss the Complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. All of the defendants have moved to dismiss or strike the claim for punitive damages. For the reasons that follow, I will grant both motions.

         I.

         The relevant facts are contained in the Complaint and in the defendants' motions and accompanying briefs and exhibits.

         On or about January 11, 2010, in Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Virginia, plaintiff Leslie B. Mondul underwent a right total hip replacement surgery in which a M2A Magnum metal-on-metal implant was placed in her right hip joint. Mondul alleges that the implant was defectively designed and manufactured, and as a result, it caused her severe pain, cardiac damage, tissue damage, bone damage, pseudo tumors, and carbon and chromium intoxication, among other things. On March 16, 2017, Mondul underwent surgery to remove the M2A Magnum implant and replace it with a different device.

         Mondul alleges that until June 2015, the M2A Magnum implant was designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold by defendant Biomet, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Biomet Orthopedics, LLC; Biomet U.S. Reconstruction, LLC; and Biomet Manufacturing Corp. She alleges that in June 2015, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (“Zimmer”) purchased Biomet, Inc. “and/or” merged Biomet, Inc. with Zimmer Inc. Compl. 3, ECF No. 1.[1] She alleges that after June 2015, Zimmer directed and controlled all activities relating to the M2A Magnum implant.

         In her Complaint, Mondul brings claims of negligence, gross negligence, and breach of express and implied warranty. Among other things, she seeks $20 million in punitive damages. Zimmer, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Indiana, has moved to dismiss the Complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. All of the defendants have moved to dismiss the claim for punitive damages, or in the alternative, to strike the claim to the extent it exceeds Virginia's statutory cap on punitive damages. The motions are ripe for decision.

         II.

         A. Personal Jurisdiction.

         In order for a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant, two requirements must be met. Owens-Illinois, Inc., v. Rapid Am. Corp. (In re Celotex Corp.), 124 F.3d 619, 627 (4th Cir. 1997). First, a statute must authorize service of process on the non-resident defendant. Id. Second, the service of process must comport with the Due Process Clause. Id. Where the state statute authorizing service of process is coextensive with the Due Process Clause, the two requirements merge, and the proper inquiry is whether exercising personal jurisdiction comports with the Due Process Clause. Id. at 627-28. Virginia's long-arm statute providing for service of process extends personal jurisdiction to the extent permitted by the Due Process Clause. Young v. New Haven Advocate, 315 F.3d 256, 261 (4th Cir. 2002). Thus, the proper inquiry here is whether exercising personal jurisdiction over Zimmer comports with the Due Process Clause.

         “A court's exercise of jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant comports with due process if the defendant has ‘minimum contacts' with the forum, such that to require the defendant to defend its interests in that state ‘does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'” Carefirst of Md., Inc. v. Carefirst Pregnancy Ctrs., Inc., 334 F.3d 390, 397 (4th Cir. 2003) (quoting Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). The standard for determining whether this requirement is met depends on whether the plaintiff seeks to establish specific or general personal jurisdiction. See id.

         Specific jurisdiction exists where the defendant's contacts with the forum state provide the basis for the suit. Id. To determine if specific jurisdiction exists, courts consider “(1) the extent to which the defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities in the State; (2) whether the plaintiffs' claims arise out of those activities directed at the State; and (3) whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction would be ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.