Novartis beats remand effort in California federal court.



N.D. Cal. -- United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Complex Litigation


On March 6, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied plaintiffs’ motion to remand their case to California state court (see Order).  Maassen v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Case No. 3:14-cv-00116-MMC (N.D. Cal. Mar. 6, 2014). 

Plaintiffs filed their state court complaint on January 6, 2014, and Novartis removed the case two days later, prior to receiving formal service.  Plaintiffs argued in their motion to remand that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b), removal is improper prior to service.  Judge Maxine Chesney found that plaintiffs failed to supply any authority supporting their argument and that other courts have found that “service of process is not a prerequisite to removal.”  Op. at 3.  The court also rejected plaintiffs’ argument under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) that, if their complaint were remanded, they would consolidate it with an earlier filed complaint against California citizens, destroying diversity.  The court found that § 1447(e) applies when a plaintiff seeks to add a non-diverse defendant to a case pending in federal court and that plaintiffs in the instant case had not moved to amend their complaint, rendering the statute inapplicable.

Novartis is represented in this matter by Firm partner Martin C. Calhoun.