New FDA Policy on Homeopathic Drugs Survives Preliminary Injunction Appeal

Overview

The FDA’s recent policy shift regarding homeopathic drugs was recently supported by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in MediNatura v. FDA, No. 20-5341 (D.C. Cir. 2021), when it upheld the denial of a preliminary injunction to block the FDA from withdrawing a longstanding enforcement policy regarding homeopathic drug products.

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Two District Courts Focus on “Gamesmanship” in a Double Dose of Rejection for Snap Removal

Faegre Drinker’s snap removal team closely monitors snap removal updates across the United States (for a basic explanation of snap removal and previous updates, see Faegre Drinker’s prior posts here; for a breakdown on which jurisdictions allow snap removal, see Faegre Drinker’s interactive snap removal map here).

In two recent decisions out of the District of Maryland and the Western District of Washington, both courts emphasized “gamesmanship” as a reason for rejecting the practice of snap removal in each jurisdiction. Interestingly, though, one district focused on gamesmanship by plaintiffs while the other district focused on gamesmanship by defendants.

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In D.D.C., Remand Arguments Are “No Match” For Plain Language Supporting Snap Removal

Pre-service removal—known colloquially as “snap removal”—continues to be adopted in more jurisdictions. For a basic explanation of snap removal, see Faegre Drinker’s prior posts here.

In Doe v. Daversa Partners, 2021 WL 736734, at *3 (D.D.C. Feb. 25, 2021), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia joins the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal affirming the practice of snap removal. Noting that the D.C. Circuit had not yet opined on the issue, the Daversa court provided a thorough analysis and rationale for refusing remand under the circumstances.

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En Banc Eighth Circuit Reverses Precedent and Holds Forum-Defendant Rule Is a Nonjurisdictional Defect Plaintiffs Can Waive

As the new year loomed, the Eighth Circuit, sitting en banc, overruled its prior cases dealing with a specific application of the forum-defendant exception to removal on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Under the forum-defendant rule, a defendant who is a citizen of the forum state cannot remove a lawsuit from state court to federal court if the removal is solely on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Before this decision, the Eighth Circuit stood alone in holding that the forum-defendant rule was jurisdictional and could never be waived. The unanimous en banc court overruled its prior cases and aligned with all other federal circuits to consider the question, concluding that violation of the forum-defendant rule is not a jurisdictional defect and therefore must be raised as a basis for remanding a case back to state court within 30 days after removal or the argument is waived. Among other practical consequences of the decision, plaintiffs who believe a defendant has improperly removed a case in violation of the forum-defendant rule now must raise the violation in 30 days or risk waiving it.

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PREP Act Does Not Require Federal Forum for State Law Negligence Claims Related to COVID-19

A New Jersey District Court Judge has ruled that the March 2020 federal liability immunity statute for pandemic-related countermeasures does not create a basis for federal jurisdiction, resulting in the remand of two COVID-19-related personal injury actions.

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DNJ Analyzes Service via Agent and the Forum Defendant Rule in Context of a Snap Removal

A magistrate judge in the District of New Jersey recommended remand of more than one dozen lawsuits concerning allegedly defective hip implants in a June 15, 2020, decision analyzing Third Circuit precedent regarding the forum defendant rule in the context of snap removals.

Jackson v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al., Civil Action No. 19-18667, is one of several cases filed by plaintiffs in New Jersey state court against the defendant Howmedica, which is incorporated and has its principal place of business in New Jersey. Pre-service, the defendant removed to federal court on the basis of diversity pursuant to Encompass Insurance Co. v. Stone Mansion Restaurant, Inc., 2018 WL 3999885 (3d Cir. Aug. 22, 2018), in which the Third Circuit held that a forum defendant may remove a case to federal court prior to being served.

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