United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HAYES
ELIZABETH E. FOOTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, filed by Defendants DTD HC, LLC.
("DTD") and D&N, LLC. ("D&N")
(collectively "Defendants"). [Record Document 6].
Plaintiff, Jennifer Jones ("Jones"), opposes the
motion [Record Document 8], and Defendants have responded to
Jones's opposition [Record Document 11]. Following a
thorough review of the record and for the following reasons,
the Defendants' motion to dismiss shall be
is the daughter of Jewel Walker ("Walker"), who was
a patient at Arcadia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center,
LLC. ("Arcadia Nursing"). While at Arcadia Nursing,
Walker allegedly suffered from "severe stage IV infected
bed sores, " malnourishment, dehydration, insufficient
wound treatment, and insufficient therapy. Record Document 8,
pp. 6-7. Walker ultimately died of sepsis, allegedly from her
filed suit in state court in Bienville Parish against Arcadia
Nursing, DTD, and D&N, contending that their failure to
provide reasonable care to Walker while she was a patient at
Arcadia Nursing caused Walker's death. The Defendants
removed the case to federal court.
D&N are the sole members of Arcadia Nursing, each having
a fifty percent interest in the ownership of Arcadia Nursing.
Both Defendants allege that they are New York citizens-- they
are limited liability companies formed in New York and they
maintain their principal places of business in Orchard Park,
New York. Jones does not dispute these facts.
New York citizen, has two members- Donald Denz
("Denz"), a natural person who is a citizen of New
York, and The Donald Denz Irrevocable Trust (the "Donald
Denz Trust"). See Record Document 6-1, p. 10. The Donald
Denz Trust has six beneficiaries (all natural persons), five
of whom are New York citizens, while the sixth is a Florida
citizen. See Id. The trustee of the Donald Denz
Trust is also a citizen of New York. See id, at p.
a New York citizen, has three members- Norbert A. Bennett
("Bennett"), a natural person who is a citizen of
New York; The Norbert A. Bennett Children's Trust (the
"Children's Trust"); and The Norbert A. Bennett
Grandchildren's Trust (the "Grandchildren's
Trust"). See Record Document 6-1, p. 12. The
Children's Trust has three beneficiaries, all natural
persons who are New York citizens. See id The
Grandchildren's Trust has eight beneficiaries, all
natural persons who are New York citizens. See Id.
The trustee of both the Children's Trust and the
Grandchildren's trust is a citizen of New York. See
id Again, Jones does not dispute any of these facts.
D&N have filed the instant motion seeking to be dismissed
from this suit, arguing that the Court lacks sufficient
personal jurisdiction over them. They maintain they are only
members of Arcadia Nursing, but aside from that they have no
independent connection to or contacts with Louisiana. While
not disputing the New York citizenship of DTD and D&N,
Jones nonetheless avers that the Defendants have sufficient
minimum contacts with Louisiana to sustain this Court's
finding of personal jurisdiction. The Court agrees with
Law and Analysis.
defendant challenges the existence of personal jurisdiction,
the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that jurisdiction
does indeed exist. See Guidry v. U.S. Tobacco Co.,
188 F.3d 619, 626 (5th Cir. 1999). On a pretrial motion such
as this one where no evidentiary hearing is held, the
uncontroverted allegations in the plaintiffs complaint must
be taken as true and any conflicts between facts contained in
the parties' affidavits must be resolved in the
plaintiffs favor. See Bullion v. Gillespie, 895 F.2d 213, 217
(5th Cir. 1990). Those facts must create for the plaintiff
only a prima facie showing of jurisdiction. See
Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Calvert Fire Ins. Co., 798
F.2d 826, 831 (5th Cir. 1986). If the plaintiff satisfies
that minimal standard, she must still prove the
jurisdictional facts at trial or through a hearing by a
preponderance of the evidence before she may obtain relief on
the merits against the non-resident. See id.; Felch v.
Transportes Lar-Mex, 92 F.3d 320, 326 (5th Cir. 1996).
federal court sitting in diversity, like this one, must
satisfy both the statutory and Constitutional requirements of
personal jurisdiction: the state long-arm statute must confer
jurisdiction over the defendant, and the court's exercise
of personal jurisdiction must be consistent with due process.
See Marathon Oil Co. v. A.G. Ruhrgas, 182 F.3d 291,
294 (5th Cir. 1999). The Louisiana long-arm statute is
coextensive with the limits of constitutional due process,
merging the statutory and constitutional analyses into one.
See La. R.S. § 13:3201(B); A&L Energy, Tnr. v.
Peaasus Group, 791 So.2d 1266, 1270 (La. 2001).
process requires both that a defendant have sufficient
minimum contacts with the forum state and that the exercise
of jurisdiction is consistent with traditional notions of
fair play and substantial justice. See Walk Haydel &
Assoc., Inc. v. Coastal Power Prod. Co., 517 F.3d 235,
243 (5th Or. 2008). A defendant's contacts with the forum
state can support either general or specific jurisdiction.
Marathon Oil, 182 F.3d at 295. General jurisdiction
exists when the defendant's contacts with the state are
"continuous, systematic, and substantial, "id, a
test that "is a difficult one to meet, requiring
extensive contacts between a defendant and a forum, "
Johnston v. Multidata Sys. Int'l Corp., 523 F.3d
602, 608 (5th Cir. 2008). ...