MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. Coloplast Corp.—(C.J. Fernandez; 3DCA; 1/11/23). This is a Medicare reimbursement case involving pelvic surgical mesh products. Coloplast, a foreign corporation, manufactured and sold the products to various Medicare patients. The mesh was defective and had to be removed or otherwise treated. MSP was assigned benefits from a number of the Medicare recipients who had to undergo additional treatment because the mesh was defective. Medicare paid for medical care and treatment received by their Medicare enrollees in Florida to treat injuries resulting from the implantation of pelvic surgical mesh products that occurred in Florida. MSP, the assignee, filed its Second Amended Complaint for a Pure Bill of Discovery against Coloplast seeking reimbursement of the claims paid by Medicare. The circuit court granted Coloplast’s motion 4 to dismiss MSP’s second amended complaint with prejudice. This decision had been a PCA, but both parties moved for a written opinion, and the granted their wish. The trial court’s two bases for dismissal were 1) the lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants and 2) the failure to state a cause of action for a pure bill of discovery. The DCA held for the Coloplast, the manufacturer, on the jurisdiction issue, so it wrote no opinion concerning the failure to state a cause of action. MSP cited three different provisions of Florida’s long-arm statute that it argued should rope Coloplast in to Florida courts. First, MSP alleged that Coloplast caused personal injury in Florida. Second, it argued that Coloplast committed torts in Florida. Third, it argued that Coloplast engaged in a business or business venture in Florida. The DCA began by noting that the cause of action was key. This is a Medicare reimbursement case, not a personal injury case. MSP was suing only for damages related to the assignment of benefits, not suing for the actual injuries to the patients. The alleged damages were only financial—reimbursement for the costs associated with the treatment of the injuries. The basis of the cause of action is reimbursement of Medicare, in MSP’s words, “damages sustained by the Assignor’s [sic].” The activity in the state is injury to persons within Florida arising from Coloplast’s defective products. MSP’s cause of action does not substantively connect to the personal injury. The “arising from” language in section 48.193 means that there must be a substantive connection between the basis of the cause of action and the activity in the state.”). Thus, whether or not the torts have a basis in fact, they do not create jurisdiction to sue for something else. Coloplast did not commit any torts against Medicare individually. MSP has admitted that it will not seek recovery for personal injury claims on behalf of the Enrollees. Therefore, there is no substantive connection between the basis of the cause of action and the activity in the state, which would be any alleged torts committed against individuals in Florida. As to the business venture provision of the long-arm statute, MSP failed to provide facts to demonstrate personal jurisdiction on this ground in its second amended complaint. Affirmed.
Terry P. Roberts
Director of Appellate Practice Fischer Redavid PLLC