The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lamberth, District Judge.
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff's Motion 
to Remand for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Defendant
Andrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s Motion  for a Stay Pending
Multidistrict Coordination. Upon consideration of these motions
and the applicable oppositions, replies, and supplemental
submissions, the court will DENY plaintiff's motion to remand and
GRANT defendant Andrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s motion for a stay
pending multidistrict coordination.
Plaintiff originally filed this action in the Superior Court of
the District of Columbia. In its complaint, plaintiff avers
antitrust claims for treble damages under the District of
Columbia Restraint of Trade Act, D.C.Code §§ 28-4502 & -4503; for
injunctive and equitable relief under the District of Columbia
Restraint of Trade Act, D.C.Code § 28-4508; and for "unjust
enrichment," or disgorgement, against defendants.
All defendants subsequently joined to file a notice of removal
of this action to federal court.*fn1 Defendants base the subject
matter jurisdiction for this removal upon federal-question and
diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331-1332. The court
finds that it would have had diversity jurisdiction over this
matter had plaintiff brought its case in federal court
originally.*fn2 Defendants therefore have a statutory right to
removal of this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 & 1446 and,
consequently, plaintiff's motion to remand must be denied.
Plaintiff filed this class-action suit against defendants,
pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, seeking remedies provided
under the District of Columbia's antitrust statute. Plaintiff
alleges that defendants unlawfully contracted and conspired to
prevent the introduction into the market of less expensive
generic versions of Cardizem CD, a prescription drug used for the
treatment of angina, hypertension, and the prevention of heart
attacks and strokes.
The primary illegal act of agreement among the defendants
alleged is referred to by plaintiff as the Hoechst-Andrx
Agreement. In this agreement, according to plaintiffs, defendants
Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft and Hoechst Marion Rousset, Inc. ("the
Hoechst defendants"), which were the pioneer manufacturers of
Cardizem CD, and Andrx, which is the first producer of a generic
version of the drug, entered into an agreement that effectively
prevented any generic competition for Cardizem CD in the United
States market-place. In exchange for the Hoechst defendants'
agreement to pay forty million dollars annually to Andrx, Andrx
agreed not to market its generic Cardizem CD product in the
United States and to withdraw its counterclaims against the
Hoechst defendants in pending patent litigation between the
defendants. This agreement allegedly has the effect of precluding
other generic competition from entering the market because,
according to the complaint, other generic manufacturers cannot
market their generic product until a 180-day exclusivity period
ends. As a result of the interplay between the patent laws and
the Hoechst-Andrx Agreement, however, this 180-day exclusivity
period has not yet begun to run.*fn3 Thus, plaintiff alleges
that defendants, in violation of the District of
Columbia antitrust statute, have agreed to prevent the
introduction of generic substitutes for Cardizem CD to preserve
the monopoly enjoyed by the Hoechst defendants, as the pioneer
company of the drug. As a result, and on behalf of itself, its
subsidiaries, and all other persons similarly situated, plaintiff
claims that it is and has been forced to pay artificially
inflated, monopoly prices for Cardizem CD.
This theory of antitrust liability takes the form of three
claims for relief, the third of which is determinative of the
issues presented in the current context. Specifically, plaintiff
asserts its third claim, for "unjust enrichment," in the
The Hoechst Defendants have benefited from the acts
alleged . . . resulting in the overpayment by
plaintiff and the Class for Cardizem CD. . . .
Defendant Andrx has benefited from the acts alleged .
. . to the extent of the payments it has received and
will continue to receive under the Hoechst-Andrx
Agreement. The funds for such payments by Hoechst are
derived from the plaintiff's and the Class'[s]
overpayment for Cardizem CD. . . . It would be
inequitable for Andrx to be permitted to retain any
of the proceeds of the Hoechst-Andrx Agreement. . . .
It would be inequitable for the Hoechst Defendants to
be permitted to retain any of the plaintiff Class'[s]
overpayment for Cardizem CD derived from their unfair
and unconscionable methods, acts and trade practices
described above, including but not limited to the
Hoechst-Andrx Agreement. . . .
Plaintiff's Complaint ¶¶ 136-139. Based on these facts, the court
must now decide whether defendants have properly removed this
lawsuit to this federal court and, if the removal was proper,
whether this litigation should be stayed pending the Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation's ruling on defendants' motion
to consolidate and transfer.
A party asserting federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
proving that the action has been properly removed to federal
court. McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178,
189, 56 S.Ct. 780, 80 L.Ed. 1135 (1936). Defendants jointly seek
to remove this case under the removal authority provided by
28 U.S.C. § 1441. Section 1441 states that "any civil action brought
in a State court of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the
defendants or the defendants, to the district court of the United
States for the district and division embracing the place where
such action is pending." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). For a district
court to have proper original diversity jurisdiction, the
requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 must be met. Under Section
1332(a), "[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the
sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between . . . citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Even if such an action meets the requirements of
28 U.S.C. § 1332, however, it is removable only if "none of the parties in
interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of
the State in which such action is brought." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b).
No one contests that the parties are completely diverse for the
purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 or that none of the defendants is a
citizen of the District of Columbia. Instead, the dispute centers
around the final requirement for original diversity jurisdiction
and, consequently, defendants' last hurdle in ...