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18-016 - CYPHERT et al v. THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY et al


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18-016 - CYPHERT et al v. THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY et al
April 25, 2018
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ORDER - In February 2012, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company ("Scotts") pleaded guilty to one count of pesticide misuse in the Southern District of Ohio. See In re Morning Song Bird Food Litig., 831 F.3d 765, 769 (6th Cir. 2016) (summarizing criminal proceedings). As part of its guilty plea, Scotts admitted that it had used unapproved pesticides in producing its bird feed products, including a pesticide labeled "toxic to birds and other wildlife." Information at 4, United States v. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., 2:12-cr-00024-JLG (S.D. Ohio Jan. 25, 2012). A class action lawsuit followed in June 2012 in the Southern District of California, alleging violations of federal racketeering laws and a variety of state consumer protection statutes for selling the tainted bird feed. See In re Morning Song, 320 F.R.D. 540, 543-44 (S.D. Cal. 2017) (summarizing claims and certifying class). The Court concludes that special circumstances exist warranting transfer of Plaintiffs' motions to compel to the Southern District of California where the underlying litigation remains pending. The Court therefore SUSTAINS Plaintiffs' objections to the Magistrate Judge's R&R in 1:17-mc-00078-JMS-TAB and GRANTS IN PART Plaintiffs' motions in 1:17-mc-00078-JMS-TAB and 1:18-mc-00016-JMS-TAB. The Court directs the Clerk to TRANSFER both matters to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California for further proceedings. (SEE ORDER). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/25/2018.(APD)