Johnson v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., No. 12-2561 (3d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Johnson, a Louisiana citizen, and Lucier, a Pennsylvania citizen, suffer from birth defects allegedly caused by their mothers’ use of thalidomide. They claim that newly-accessible evidence revealed that the defendant companies were aware of the drug’s risks while marketing it to pregnant women, and that they have been engaged in a 60-year cover-up to avoid liability. After defendants removed their suit for damages to federal court, the plaintiffs moved to remand the action to state court because four of the defendants are Pennsylvania citizens. The district court denied the motion. The Third Circuit affirmed, concluding that the district court correctly analyzed the citizenship of the companies, examining the principal place of business of one company and the fact that a limited liability company assumes the citizenship of its owner.