Caplinger v Medtronic, Inc.

Caplinger sued Medtronic alleging various state tort theories of recovery for injuries sustained as a result of an of label use of a medical devise. The district court ruled all the claims were either preempted or insufficiently pled. The panel, 2-1, affirmed. The majority noted that the preemption analysis in the medical device field is complex given the United States Supreme Court precedent in the area. However, it held that Caplinger’s claims all fail because she has not identified any relevant federal regulatory requirement which the state claims parallel. It also rejected her argument that off label uses are not subject to preemption under the Medical Devices Act as the Congress did not exclude them from the preemption provision, but, allows off label uses in another provision. While acknowledging that the balance between innovation and safety could be struck differently, the majority held that affirming here upholds the balance actually struck in the Act. The dissent argued that the district court misunderstood federal law and thus improperly granted judgment to Medtronic. It argued that because Caplinger alleged false labeling and adulteration based on failure to warn and negligence which are arguably based on state law requirements to adequately warn and use reasonable care to comply with federal law and are thus based on state law duties which are parallel to federal labeling law at this stage of the process, the claims should be allowed to continue.

 Barnes v Harris

Barnes sued Harris and other directors and officers of a bank holding company in state court for damages arising from the collapse of the bank owned by the company. FDIC was appointed receiver of the bank and was allowed to intervene in the state case. It removed the case to federal court and moved to dismiss. The district court granted eh motion ruling the derivative rights alleged by Barnes belonged to FDIC under 12 USC 1821. The panel affirmed. It held the district court had jurisdiction over the case because 12 USC 1819 creates federal question jurisdiction when FDIC is a party, the state intervention means FDIC must be treated a party for all purposes and its motion to dismiss was field before a pleading as allowed by Rule of Civil Procedure 12. The panel held all but one claim in the operative complaint belonged to FDIC under 12 USC `1819 as claims holding company officers breached their duties by mismanaging the bank are derivative under Utah law. The panel held that the claim for tax refund belonged to FDIC because the losses which generated the refund were generated by the bank and there was no evidence the allocation of losses was changed by agreement. The panel held that a claim of misappropriation could be raised by Barnes, it was inadequately pled as Barnes failed to explain why the use to which the money was put would be actionable. The panel finally held that Barnes’ motion to amend his complaint again would have been futile for failure to state facts demonstrating the misappropriation was actionable and the motion was thus properly denied.