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June 25, 2020

Missouri Hospital’s Opioid Case Remanded to State Court

Judge Rosann Ketchmark, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, has granted a  motion to remand filed by a group of Missouri hospitals in their civil case against opioid drug makers. In April, the hospitals filed a civil suit in state court against opioid manufacturers seeking compensation for almost two decades of financial harm created from the opioid epidemic. In their complaint, the hospitals alleged five causes of action, including negligence, nuisance, unjust enrichment, fraud and deceit, and civil conspiracy, all arising under Missouri common law. Last month, the pharmaceutical manufacturers moved the case to federal court, and on June 2, the hospitals filed a motion to remand. In the order, Judge Ketchmark found that the drug manufacturers' arguments were without merit, stating that “Plaintiffs' state-law claims do not fall within the "special and small category" of state claims that can be deemed to arise under federal law”, therefore federal courts have no jurisdiction over this claim.