By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Richard G. Andrews in State of Delaware v. Purdue Pharma L.P. et al., Civil Action No. 18-383-RGA (D.Del. April 25, 2018), the Court granted Plaintiff State of Delaware’s Motion to Remand the action originally filed by Plaintiff in the Superior Court of Delaware against manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy retailers of prescription opioids for their roles in Delaware’s opioid crisis. In granting the Motion to Remand the action back to Delaware Superior Court, the District Court found that it lacked federal subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims. Id. at *2.
Specifically, in the action, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants created and fueled the opioid crisis in Delaware by violating the Delaware Controlled Substances Act and the Federal Controlled Substances Act, among other things. Id. However, in its Complaint, Plaintiff alleged only state law claims of consumer fraud, nuisance, negligence, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy against McKesson Corporation. Id. Nonetheless, McKesson filed a notice removing the action to the District of Delaware asserting that there was federal question jurisdiction pursuant to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Id. at *2-3. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed its Motion to Remand the action back to Delaware Superior Court. Id. at *3.
Because there was no dispute that Plaintiff’s claims arose under state law, McKesson had to show that a federal issue is (1) necessarily raised, (2) actually disputed, (3) substantial, and (4) capable of resolution without disrupting the federal-state balance approved by Congress. Id. at *4. Ultimately, the Court found that “the federal issues in [the] case are not necessarily raised, substantial, and possible to entertain without disrupting the congressionally – approved balance between state and federal courts.” Id. at *11. Thus, the Court found that Plaintiff’s state law claims do not “arise under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States” and did not confer federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Id. at *11.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.