United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION
BRAMLETTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Company, Solutia, Inc., Pharmacia, LLC f/k/a Pharmacia
Corporation, and Pfizer, Inc. (collectively,
“Monsanto”) invoke Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) and move the Court to dismiss counts I-VI
of Gary Jackson's amended complaint. For the reasons that
follow, the Court grants Jackson 14 days to file a second
amended complaint tailoring his claims and allegations of
product-based harm to the Mississippi Products Liability Act.
See Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-63.
dispute arises from Gary Jackson's alleged exposure to
Monsanto-manufactured products containing polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs). Jackson alleges his exposure to PCBs from
Monsanto products caused him to develop a rare form of cancer
years, Jackson worked as a pipeliner for Texas Eastern
Transmission, LP. Jackson's primary duty was to service
Texas Eastern compressor stations that used
Monsanto-manufactured PCB-based lubricant. According to
Jackson, Texas Eastern began to “phase out”
PCB-based lubricants in 1972, and in so doing, dumped
hundreds of PCB-containing drums into landfills near
alleges Texas Eastern “intentionally forced” him
to unearth PCB-containing drums from landfills. He also
alleges he was exposed to Monsanto-manufactured PCB-based
lubricants performing his daily duties: monitoring the
compressors, removing pipeline liquids, and cleaning the
sued Texas Eastern and Monsanto and invoked the Court's
diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).
Against Monsanto, Jackson alleges claims of negligence,
strict liability, products liability, breach of warranty,
negligent misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy.
moves to dismiss Jackson's claims for failure to state a
claim. Monsanto insists the Court “must” dismiss
Jackson's product-based claims because Jackson's
allegations do not track the Mississippi Products Liability
Act. And it contends Jackson's conspiracy claim is not
plausibly pleaded. Jackson opposes. He rejoins that his
complaint need not cite the Mississippi Products Liability
Act and he asks, in the alternative, for leave to amend.
overcome Monsanto's motion, Jackson must plead a
plausible claim for relief. Romero v. City of Grapevine,
Tex., 888 F.3d 170, 176 (5th Cir. 2018) (citing
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A
claim is plausible if it is pleaded with factual content that
allows the Court to reasonably infer that Monsanto is liable
for the misconduct alleged. Edionwe v. Bailey, 860
F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir. 2017) (citing Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678).
ruling on Monsanto's motion, the Court accepts the
amended complaint's well-pleaded facts as true and views
them in the light most favorable to Jackson. Midwest
Feeders, Inc. v. Bank of Franklin, 886 F.3d 507, 513
(5th Cir. 2018).
the Court's jurisdiction is based on diversity of
citizenship, the Court applies Mississippi substantive law.
Mid-Continent Cas. Co. v. Swift Energy Co., 206 F.3d
487, 491 (5th Cir. ...