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Jiggetts v. Janseen Pharmaceuticals

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 9, 2019

ALEXANDER JIGGETTS, Plaintiff,
v.
JANSEEN PHARMACEUTICALS[1], Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Alexander Jiggetts ("Mr. Jiggetts"), pro se Plaintiff, brought suit against Defendant, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Janssen") on October 29, 2018 seeking damages related to his alleged injury from the drugs Risperdal® and Invega®. Now pending before this Court are four motions: (1) Request for Default Judgement (ECF No. 12); (2) Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint (ECF No. 22); (3) Modon to Withdraw Parts of Complaint that are Incorrect (ECF No. 25); and (4) Motion for Leave of Court to File a Response/Reply to Answer (ECF No. 31). The parties' submissions have been reviewed and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons that follow, this Court shall DENY Mr. Jiggetts' Request for Default Judgement and shall GRANT his Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint and his Motion to Withdraw Parts of Complaint that are Incorrect. However, Mr. Jiggetts must file a Proposed Amended Complaint, to which Defendants may respond in due course. Mr. Jiggetts' Motion for Leave of Court to File a Response/Reply to Answer is, therefore, moot and shall be DENIED AS MOOT.

         BACKGROUND

         Mr. Jiggetts alleges that he took the drug "risperidone" from 2013 to April of 2017 for schizoaffective disorder, and it caused him to grow breasts, gain excessive weight, and makes him tire easily. (Compl. 1, ECF No. 1.) He also alleges that he took the drug "Invega Sustenna" from 2017 to present and it similarly caused him to grow breasts, gain excessive weight, and makes him tire easily. (Id.) Mr. Jiggetts adds that Invega "leaves a pain in your arm when they stick you and it burns when it goes in." (Id.) Mr. Jiggetts alleges that when he first started taking risperidone, he weighed 180-200 pounds, but now he weighs almost 300 pounds. (Id. at 1-2.)

         Mr. Jiggetts states that the FDA only approves risperidone for schizophrenia, but he was taking it for schizoaffective disorder, which he alleges "is malpractice." (Id. at 1.) He also states that Janssen "is committing cruel and unusual punishment by selling these medicines" and alleges that Janssen "deprive[s] you of life, liberty, and property by having people take these toxic medicines without warnings" and "committed intentional negligence by not telling people the effects of this [sic] medicines." (Id. at 1-2.) Mr. Jiggetts seeks damages of "one hundred million dollars" and asks this Court to make him whole again by granting him damages for "pain and suffering and emotional discomfort." (Id.)

         Janssen answered the Complaint on January 28, 2019 and a scheduling order was issued. (Answer, ECF No. 10; Sched. Order, ECF No. 11.) The next day, January 29, 2019, Mr. Jiggetts filed the pending Request for Default Judgement, seeking default judgment for one hundred million dollars based on Defendant's failure to answer. (Mot. Default, ECF No. 12.) On January 31, 2019, Mr. Jiggetts supplemented his request stating: '"Defendant answered today which is the 23rd day yet he did not meet the 21 day deadline" adding "I send this out already and moot the first one because I believe I forgot to put a stamp on it." (Suppl., ECF No. 13.) Both Mr. Jiggetts' request and supplement were dated January 28, 2019. (See ECF Nos. 12, 13.)

         On February 15, 2019, Mr. Jiggetts filed the pending Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, seeking to add Janssen's CEO as a defendant and to add further information in support of his claim. (Mot. Am., ECF No. 22.) However, Mr. Jiggetts notes that the amended complaint does not moot the original complaint, and he reminds the court that he continues to "seek judgment on the original complaint for it took plaintiff 22 days to answer." (Prop. Am. Compl., ECF No. 22-1.)

         On February 25, 2019, Mr. Jiggetts filed the pending Motion to Withdraw Parts of Complaint that are Incorrect, seeking to withdraw paragraph two of his Complaint because it is not true that he was taking risperidone for schizoaffective disorder. (Mot. Withdraw, ECF No. 25.) On March 18, 2019, Mr. Jiggetts filed the pending Motion for Leave of Court to File a Response/Reply to Answer, stating that there are untrue statements in the Answer, and "there needs to be a reply." (Mot. Reply, ECF No. 31.)

         Mr. Jiggetts also asked this Court to appoint counsel to act on his behalf. (See ECF Nos. 24, 34, 42.) This Court appointed pro bono counsel to represent Mr. Jiggetts but later granted pro bono counsel's Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 44) of that order. (See ECF No. 46.) Mr. Jiggetts then filed another motion for counsel to be appointed, which this Court denied upon consideration of Janssen's opposition, which stated that Mr. Jiggetts had filed over fifty lawsuits in this Court as well as another twenty in other courts and had exhausted the "three strikes" afforded for frivolous filings under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). (See Mem. Op., ECF No. 48.) In its Order, this Court granted leave to Defendant to file a summary judgment motion. (ECF No. 49.) This Court denied Mr. Jiggetts' motion to reconsider and extended the deadline for dispositive motions to be filed in this case until Tuesday, September 10, 2019. (ECF No. 53.)

         For the reasons that follow, this Court shall DENY Mr. Jiggetts' Request for Default Judgement and shall GRANT his Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint and Motion to Withdraw Parts of Complaint that are Incorrect. However, Mr. Jiggetts must file a Proposed Amended Complaint, to which Defendants may respond in due course. Mr. Jiggetts' Motion for Leave of Court to File a Response/Reply to Answer is, therefore, moot and shall be DENIED AS MOOT.

         DISCUSSION

         This Court recognizes that the Plaintiff is pro se and has accorded his pleadings liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         I. Default Judgment

         Mr. Jiggetts seeks default judgment because Defendant's Answer was not timely filed. (See Mot. Default, ECF No. 12; Mot. Suppl., ECF No. 13.) Janssen does not dispute that the summons reflects that it was served on Friday, January 4, 2019, but explains that the documents were not received by Janssen's Legal Department until Monday, January 7, 2019, so it inadvertently miscalculated the due date for the Answer. (Def.'s Resp. 1, ECF No. 20.) Janssen requests that ...


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