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Crystal Photonics, Inc v. Siemens Medical Solutions Usa

December 21, 2011

CRYSTAL PHOTONICS, INC., PLAINTIFF/COUNTERDEFENDANT,
v.
SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS USA, INC., DEFENDANT/COUNTERPLAINTIFF.



ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Strike Defenses and Dismiss Counterclaims (Doc. 18) filed by the Plaintiff/Counterdefendant, Crystal Photonics, Inc. ("Crystal Photonics"), and the response in opposition (Doc. 20) filed by the Defendant/Counterplaintiff, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. ("Siemens"). Crystal Photonics asserts that most but not all of the counterclaims and affirmative defenses raised by Siemens are insufficiently pled or do not constitute affirmative defenses. Crystal Photonics is correct. The counterclaims and affirmative defenses raised by Siemens are nothing more than bare recitations of legal conclusions.*fn1 There is nothing in either the answer or in Siemens's response to the instant motion that suggests these defenses or counterclaims have merit.

Siemens argues that the defenses and counterclaims are sufficient because they put Crystal Photonics on notice that it may defend the instant suit on the asserted grounds. But the pleadings must serve as something more as a placeholder for potential claims and defenses. Conclusory allegations such as these do not put anyone on notice, as they do not suggest that the party actually intends to pursue them. If anything, they conceal any potentially meritorious counterclaims and affirmative defenses in a sea of irrelevancies. Such pleading practices likely also run afoul of Rule 11, which requires the pleading attorney to certify that "the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b)(2). An attorney with no reason to believe the counterclaim or defense has any basis in fact cannot legitimately make such a certification.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion to Strike Defenses and Dismiss Counterclaims (Doc. 18) is GRANTED. All of Siemens's affirmative defenses are STRICKEN, and all of its counterclaims are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. To the extent Siemens wishes to file an amended answer asserting affirmative defenses and counterclaims consistent with Rule 11 and its other relevant requirements, it may do so on or before January 3, 2012.

Copies furnished to:

Counsel of Record ...


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