An exhausting look at improper joinder

LA flagA prospective plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in Louisiana must submit the claim to a medical review panel before filing suit.  When suit is filed before the panel is done, district courts have divided on whether an in-state defendant is “improperly joined” for purposes of a diversity analysis in a removal.  In Flagg v. Stryker Corp., the Court concluded that such a defendant is not improperly joined, finding that the panel did not actually adjudicate the claim, and that the panel process could be waived by the parties. A dissent reasoned that the Louisiana statute was analogous to federal statutes where thee court had found improper joinder in similar situations.  No. 14-31169 (Sept. 4, 2015).

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