United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
D. ENGELHARDT UNITED STATES JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Dravo Basic Materials Company,
Inc.'s FRCP 12(b)(2) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Personal Jurisdiction (Rec. Doc. 11). Plaintiff Robert
Schindler has filed a response in opposition (Rec. Doc. 12),
to which Defendant Dravo Basic Material Company, Inc. has
replied. See Rec. Doc. 15. Having carefully
considered the parties' supporting and opposing
submissions, the record, and the applicable law, IT
IS ORDERED that the motion is
DENIED for the reasons stated herein.
instant matter arises out of Plaintiff Robert Schindler's
(“Schindler”) personal injuries, specifically
mesothelioma, allegedly caused, in part, by the exposure to
asbestos while working in the engine room of a vessel called
DRAVO, which was owned and operated by Defendant Dravo Basic
Materials Company, Inc., formerly known as Radcliff
Materials, Inc. (“Dravo”). (Rec. Doc. 1 at p. 1).
Schindler alleges that he worked upon the DRAVO in 1973 for
three months while the DRAVO was “operating in the
navigable waters of Lake Pontchartrain.” Id.
at p. 2.
November 21, 2017, Schindler filed his Seaman's
Complaint, invoking a cause of action under the Jones Act and
seeking to recover damages for:
[P]ast and future physical pain and suffering; physical
disability, impairment, and inconvenience; the effect of
Plaintiff's injuries and inconvenience on the normal
pursuits and pleasures of life; past and future mental
anguish and feelings of economic insecurity caused by
disability; income loss in the past; impairment of earning
capacity or ability in the future, including impairment of
Plaintiff's earning capacity due to his physical
condition; and past and future medical expenses.
Id. at p. 6-7. Thereafter, Dravo filed the instant
motion, seeking to dismiss this action for lack of personal
jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2).
See Rec. Doc. 11. Dravo specifically argues that
this Court lacks both general and specific jurisdiction.
(Rec. Doc. 11-1 at p. 5-6). First, Dravo argues that it was
not organized under Louisiana law and does not have its
principal place of business in Louisiana, so it is
inappropriate for this Court to exercise general
jurisdiction. Id. at p. 10. Next, Dravo asserts that
it would be unconstitutional for this Court to exercise
specific jurisdiction because it has not had any contacts
with Louisiana in almost a quarter of a century, and this
Court's exercise of jurisdiction over it would be
unreasonable. Id. at p. 13-20. In support of its
argument that this Court should not exercise specific
jurisdiction because its contacts with Louisiana are remote
or “historical, ” Dravo urges the Court to extend
certain temporal limitations that courts consider in general
jurisdiction analyses to the Court's assessment of
specific jurisdiction. Id. at p. 13-16. Further,
Dravo argues that even if the Court finds that it has
sufficient minimum contacts with Louisiana to establish
specific jurisdiction and that Schindler's claim arises
out of such contacts, exercising jurisdiction would be
unreasonable. Id. at p. 17.
opposition memorandum, Schindler only responds to Dravo's
arguments regarding specific jurisdiction. See Rec.
Doc. 12. Specifically, Schindler addresses Dravo's
argument that this Court should appropriate arguments
relevant to general jurisdiction to a specific jurisdiction
analysis, stating that “[b]lending the analysis of
these two different types of jurisdiction would contravene
applicable legal precedent and would, on the facts of this
case, result in a serious miscarriage of justice.”
Id. at p. 1. Further, Schindler argues that Dravo
does have the requisite minimum contacts with Louisiana to
confer specific jurisdiction. Id. at p. 2.
Additionally, Schindler discounts Dravo's arguments
relevant to the alleged unreasonableness of this Court
exercising personal jurisdiction over the instant matter.
Id. at p. 7.
reply memorandum in support of its motion, Dravo addresses
Schindler's arguments relevant to its contacts with
Louisiana. (Rec. Doc. 15 at p. 3). Specifically, Dravo argues
that Schindler's citation to cases where Dravo was a
party was evidence of minimum contacts is improper.
Id. at p. 3-6. Moreover, Dravo assets that none of
the cases cited by Schindler concern a defendant's
contacts with the forum state that are “decades removed
from the filing of suit.” Id. at p. 7.
Additionally, Dravo reiterates its argument that any exercise
of jurisdiction by this Court would be unreasonable.
Id. at p. 10-11.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
nonresident defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing
jurisdiction by a prima facie showing. Luv
N' care, Ltd. v. Insta-Mix, Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 469
(5th Cir. 2006). In its jurisdictional determination, the
Court may consider "affidavits, interrogatories,
depositions, oral testimony, or any combination of the
recognized methods of discovery.” Stuart v.
Spademan, 772 F.2d 1185, 1192 (5th Cir. 1985). The Court
“must resolve all undisputed facts submitted by the
plaintiff, as well as facts contested in the affidavits, in
favor of jurisdiction.” Luv N' care, 438
F.3d at 469. “When a plaintiff makes its prima
facie case that the defendant has ‘minimum
contacts' with the forum state, the burden of proof
shifts to the defendant to show that the exercise of
jurisdiction would be unreasonable.” Id. at
473 (citation omitted).
the Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a
nonresident defendant, the long-arm statute of the forum
state must confer upon it the authority to do so. See
Latshaw v. Johnson, 167 F.3d 208, 211 (5th Cir. 1999).
In addition, the exercise of jurisdiction must not exceed the
boundaries of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. Id. In Louisiana, the long-arm statute
extends jurisdiction to the full limits of due process.
Planet Beach Franchising Corp. v. C3Ubit, Inc., No.
Civ.A. 02-1859, 2002 WL 1870007 at *2 (E.D. La. Aug. 12,
2002). Therefore, the Court's focus in the present matter
is whether the exercise of jurisdiction over Dravo would
comport with the constitutional requirements of due process.
process is satisfied when (1) the defendant has purposefully
availed itself of the benefits and protections of the forum
by establishing “minimum contacts” with that
state, and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction over the
defendant does not offend traditional notions of fair play
and substantial justice. Int'l Shoe Co. v.
Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945). The “minimum
contacts” inquiry is fact intensive, and the touchstone
is whether “the defendant purposefully directed his
activities towards the forum state, such that he could
reasonably foresee being haled into court there.”
Southern Marsh Collection, LLC. v. C.J. Printing
Inc., Civil Action No. 14-495, 2015 WL 331919 at *1
(M.D. La. Jan. 26, 2015) (citing Luv N' Care
Ltd., 438 F.3d at 470). Minimum contacts may ...