ATLANTA (CN) – The estate of a man who died of poisoning from a prescription skin patch must go to federal court – not state court – to sue the drug manufacturer, the 11th Circuit ruled.
Lori Jo Bailey filed a wrongful death action after Chad Edgar Beal died of fenantyl toxicity from a pain patch containing the drug Duragesic.
Judge Anderson ruled that in multi-defendant litigation, the limitations period for removal to federal court expires from service on the last-served defendant, as opposed to the first-served defendant.
Johnson & Johnson’s, the last-served defendant, was thus granted a notice of removal to federal court based on complete diversity, since the company filed within 30 days.
“Common sense and considerations of equity favor the last-served defendant rule,” Anderson ruled.