United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Introduction and Background
matter is before the Court upon a Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by the Defendant, DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc.
(“Synthes”). Docket No. 48. Synthes has also filed a
Supporting Memorandum of Law. Docket No. 48-1. The Plaintiff,
Hannah Coleman, has filed a Response in Opposition. Docket
No. 52. Synthes has filed a Reply. Docket No. 56. For the
following reasons, Synthes's Motion for Summary Judgment
products liability action arises from the implantation of a
piece of titanium mesh manufactured by Synthes into Ms.
Coleman's chest in 2012, in an attempt to repair pectus
excavatum, a congenital deformity of the anterior chest wall.
The surgery was performed by Leonard J. Wudel, M.D., and
Robert F. Garza, M.D. In 2014, Ms. Coleman began to
experience chest pain, and was seen by Dr. Garza, who ordered
a chest CT. On the CT image, an area of mesh had an
“accordion” appearance. Dr. Garza agreed with Ms.
Coleman that the mesh had become symptomatic and should be
removed, and that surgery was performed by Dr. Garza. When
Ms. Garza's chest was reopened, Dr. Garza found the mesh
to be intact except for a small area at an edge where the
mesh had overlapped on itself. After the second surgery, Ms.
Coleman felt that her symptoms had mostly resolved.
Coleman contends that the mesh manufactured by Synthes was
defective and caused severe complications which would not
have occurred in the absence of negligent or defective
design, manufacture, or inspection; and that the mesh was not
reasonably suited to the uses intended and reasonably
anticipated at the time it left their control. Docket No.
1-1. Ms. Coleman asserts that Synthes is liable under various
theories of products liability. Id. at 24-27.
Synthes denies Ms. Coleman's allegations and has moved
for summary judgment on all claims.
Law and Analysis
Motions for Summary Judgment
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), summary judgment is appropriate only
“if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” The party bringing the
motion has the burden of informing the Court of the basis for
its motion and identifying portions of the record that
demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute of material
facts. Rodgers v. Banks, 344 F.3d 587, 595 (6th Cir.
2003). The moving party may satisfy this burden by presenting
affirmative evidence that negates an element of the nonmoving
party's claim or by demonstrating an absence of evidence
to support the nonmoving party's case. Id. A
dispute is “genuine” only if “the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must review
all the evidence, facts, and inferences in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Electric
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106
S.Ct. 1348 (1986); Van Gorder v. Grand Trunk Western
Railroad, Inc., 509 F.3d 265, 268 (6th Cir. 2007). The
Court does not weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of
witnesses, or determine the truth of the matter. Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249. The Court determines whether
sufficient evidence has been presented to make the issue of
fact a proper jury question. Id. The mere existence
of a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmoving
party's position will be insufficient to allow the
nonmoving party's claims to survive summary judgment;
rather, the nonmoving party must convince the Court that
there is sufficient evidence for a juror to return a verdict
in its favor. Id.
Court has reviewed the Parties' Statements of Undisputed
Material Facts, as well as the Responses and Reply thereto.
Docket Nos. 48-2, 52-1, 52-2, 56-1, 56-2. The Court has
determined that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact. The inquiry thus turns to whether Synthes is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Civil
initial matter, Ms. Coleman argues that Synthes's Motion
must be denied because it fails to comply with “the
applicable federal rules of civil procedure, ”
specifically, Rule 7(b). Docket No. 52, p. 5. Rule 7(b),
which governs the form of motions and other papers, provides:
(1) In General. A request for a
court order must be made by motion. The ...