United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
JEFFREY R. WILLIAMS and TONIA WILLIAMS, H/W, Plaintiffs,
TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICALS AMERICA, INC., et al., Defendants.
J. PAPPERT, J.
Williams and his wife Tonia sued Takeda Pharmaceuticals
America, Inc. (“Takeda America”), Takeda
Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. f/k/a Takeda Pharmaceuticals
North America, Inc. (“Takeda USA”), Takeda
Pharmaceuticals Company, Ltd. (“Takeda Limited”)
and Takeda Global Research and Development Center, Inc.
(“Takeda R&D”) for negligence and eight
related claims under Pennsylvania state law. The claims arise
from bladder cancer Jeffrey contracted after taking
Defendants' medication Actos for over a year to treat his
type 2 diabetes.
America, Takeda USA and Takeda R&D
(“Defendants”) move to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction. None of the Defendants are incorporated in
or have their principal places of business in Pennsylvania.
Takeda America and Takeda USA, however, are registered to do
business as foreign corporations under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. § 5301. The Court grants in part and denies in part
the Motion for the reasons that follow.
is a prescription medication that helps control glucose
levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. (Compl. at 2 &
¶ 28, ECF No. 1.) Defendants design, test, manufacture,
distribute and market Actos in Pennsylvania. (Id. at
¶¶ 9, 15, 26, 28.) Takeda America is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Takeda USA, (id. at ¶ 7), and
Takeda USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Limited,
(id. at ¶ 13). Takeda R&D is also a
subsidiary of Takeda Limited. (Id. at ¶
Takeda America and Takeda USA are incorporated in Delaware
and have their principal places of business in Illinois.
(Id. at ¶¶ 6, 12.) Both are registered to
do business in Pennsylvania and maintain a registered agent,
CT Corporations Systems, in Philadelphia. (Id.)
February 2, 2010 through November 2, 2011, Jeffrey took Actos
to treat his type 2 diabetes and subsequently contracted
bladder cancer. (Id. at ¶¶ 28-29.) He
contends, among other things, that Defendants failed to
adequately test Actos, negligently manufactured and placed an
unreasonably dangerous product in the stream of commerce and
“actively concealed” the increased risk of
developing bladder cancer “associated with more than
twelve months of Actos ingestion.” (Id. at
¶¶ 29, 32, 47, 62- 64.) Although Plaintiffs have
not specified whether they were living at their current home
in New Jersey when Jeffrey took Actos and contracted bladder
cancer, Jeffrey alleges that he sought treatment from medical
professionals in and around Philadelphia because he was
working for a corporation in Pennsylvania at the time.
(Id. at ¶¶ 4-5, 30-31.) Jeffrey alleges
that he is no longer employed by that corporation as a result
of the injuries he suffered from the “defective nature
of Actos.” (Id. at ¶ 31.)
November 5, 2011, Jeffrey and Tonia sued the Defendants for
negligence, failure to warn, defective design, breach of
express warranty, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a
particular purpose, breach of implied warranty of
merchantability, negligence per se, negligent
misrepresentation and loss of consortium. (Compl., ECF No.
1.) On January 18, 2019, Defendants moved to dismiss for lack
of personal jurisdiction. (Mot., ECF No. 4.)
move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2). Once challenged, Plaintiffs bear the
burden to establish personal jurisdiction. O'Connor
v. Sandy Lane Hotel Co., 496 F.3d 312, 316 (3d Cir.
2007) (citing Gen. Elec. Co. v. Deutz AG, 270 F.3d
144, 150 (3d Cir. 2001)). Where, as here, the Court does not
hold an evidentiary hearing, Plaintiffs need only establish a
prima facie case of personal jurisdiction.
Id. (quoting Miller Yacht Sales, Inc. v.
Smith, 384 F.3d 93, 97 (3d Cir. 2004)). They may use
“affidavits or other competent evidence” to
demonstrate “with reasonable particularity”
sufficient contacts between Defendants and the forum.
Lehigh Gas Wholesale, LLC v. LAP Petroleum,
LLC, 2015 WL 1312213 at *2 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 23, 2015)
(quoting Metcalfe v. Renaissance Marine, Inc., 566
F.3d 324, 330 (3d Cir. 2009), O'Connor, 496 F.3d
at 316 and Mellon Bank (E.) PSFS, Nat'l Ass'n v.
Farino, 960 F.2d 1217, 1223 (3d Cir. 1992)). The Court
accepts the Complaint's factual allegations as true.
O'Connor, 496 F.3d at 316 (quoting Miller
Yacht Sales, 384 F.3d at 97).
sitting in diversity apply the law of the forum state to
determine whether jurisdiction is proper. Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(k)(1)(A). Pennsylvania's long-arm statute is
coextensive with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. See 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §
5322(b) (allowing courts to exercise personal jurisdiction
over nonresidents “to the fullest extent under the
Constitution of the United States and may be based on the
most minimum contact with th[e] Commonwealth allowed under
the Constitution of the United States); see also Mellon
Bank, 960 F.2d at 1221 (“The Pennsylvania statute
permits the courts of that state to exercise personal
jurisdiction over nonresident defendants to the
constitutional limits of the [D]ue [P]rocess [C]lause of the
[F]ourteenth [A]mendment.”) Accordingly, the
Court's jurisdiction is proper so long as Defendants have
“certain minimum contacts with Pennsylvania such that
the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
O'Connor, 496 F.3d at 316-17 (citing
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
are two types of personal jurisdiction: general and specific.
See Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Super. Ct. of Cal., S.F.
Cty., 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1780 (2017). A court with general
jurisdiction may hear any claim against a defendant, even if
all the incidents underlying the claim occurred in a
different state. Id. (citing Goodyear Dunlop
Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919
(2011)). However, specific jurisdiction is “confined to
adjudication of issues deriving from, or connected with, the
very controversy that establishes jurisdiction.”
Id. (quoting Goodyear, 564 U.S. at 919).
Each defendant's contacts with the forum state must be
assessed individually. Calder v. Jones, 465
U.S. 783, 790 (1984).
Pennsylvania's jurisdictional statute provides, in
(a) General rule.-The existence of any of the following
relationships between a person and this Commonwealth shall
constitute a sufficient basis of jurisdiction to enable the
tribunals of this Commonwealth to exercise general personal
jurisdiction over such person, or his personal representative
in the case of an individual, and to ...