United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
G. JAMES JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
B. WHITEHURST LILTED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court, on referral from the district judge, is the Rule
12(b)(2) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
[Doc. 116] filed by defendant Javier Hernandez (Hernandez).
Plaintiff Harry Lee Boudreaux (“plaintiff”)
opposes the motion [Doc. 122], as does the intervenor
Louisiana Construction & Industry Self-Insurers Fund
(“The Fund”), which seeks to assert its rights as
Boudreaux's workers compensation carrier [Doc.
124]. Hernandez filed a reply brief [Doc. 134].
For the reasons that follow, the undersigned recommends that
the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction be
GRANTED, and that the claims of the plaintiff and the
intervenor against Javier Hernandez be DENIED AND DISMISSED
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
instant lawsuit arises out of a construction site accident
wherein plaintiff Harry Lee Boudreaux allegedly sustained
injuries while working on an apartment building project in
Lafayette, Louisiana on August 22, 2016. In his original
Complaint, Boudreaux alleged he was working in his capacity
as an employee of DeMar Staffing and was assisting a
co-worker with making repairs to a fence at the apartment
complex, while employees of U.S. Framing were installing roof
decking at the same apartment complex. Plaintiff alleges that
while he was working, a piece of oriented strand board fell
from the roof of Building 5, striking him in the back and
plaintiff sued U.S. Framing, Inc. (“U.S.
Framing”) in the Fifteenth Judicial District Court for
the State of Louisiana. U.S Framing removed the matter to
this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction on April
11, 2017. Thereafter, on June 9, 2017, Boudreaux amended his
complaint to add CJR Framing, along with CJR's alleged
insurer, Rockingham Ins. Co., and Grange Mutual Casualty Co.,
the alleged insurer of U.S. Framing. In his First Amended
Complaint, Boudreaux alleges CJR Framing was one of U.S.
Framing's subcontractors that was installing the roof
decking at Building 5 that allegedly injured him.
Subsequently, Louisiana Construction & Industry Self
Insurers Fund (“the Fund”) filed a Complaint of
Intervention, seeking to assert its rights, if any, as
Boudreaux's workers' compensation carrier.
on February 8, 2018, the plaintiff amended his Complaint
again, to add as defendants Raul Hernandez, Javier Hernandez,
Carmen Hernandez, and Humberto Hernandez, all corporate
officers and/or construction site supervisors of the
defendant corporation CJR Framing, Inc. The motion before
the Court was filed by Javier Hernandez, who has been sued
for his direct negligence and in his capacity as the
Secretary and member of the Board of Directors of CJR
Framing, Inc. Hernandez now seeks to dismiss the claims
against him on grounds this Court does not have personal
jurisdiction over him.
LAW AND DISCUSSION
a defendant challenges personal jurisdiction, the party
seeking to invoke the power of the court bears the burden of
proving that jurisdiction exists.” Luv N'care,
Ltd. v. Insta-Mix, Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 469
(5th Cir. 2006). The plaintiff bears the burden in
the instant case of establishing the personal jurisdiction of
this Court over Hernandez.
court rules on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction without holding an evidentiary hearing, as in
this case, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing
of personal jurisdiction. Guidry v. U.S. Tobacco, Co.,
Inc., 188 F.3d 619, 625 (5th Cir. 1999).
“The allegations of the complaint, except insofar as
controverted by opposing affidavits, must be taken as true,
and all conflicts in the facts must be resolved in favor of
the plaintiff[ ] for purposes of determining whether a prima
facie case for personal jurisdiction has been
established.” Thompson v. Chrysler Motors
Corp., 755 F.2d 1162, 1165 (5th Cir. 1985).
“In determining whether personal jurisdiction exists,
the trial court is not restricted to a review of the
plaintiff's pleadings.” Jobe v. ATR Mktg.,
Inc., 87 F.3d 751, 753 (5th Cir. 1996). The
Court may consider matters outside the complaint, including
affidavits, interrogatories, depositions, or any combination
of the recognized methods of discovery. Id.
may be general or specific.” Mullins v.
Testamerica, Inc., 564 F.3d 386, 398 (5th
Cir. 2009), citing Stroman Realty, Inc. v.
Wercinski, 513 F.3d 476, 484 (5th Cir.2008).
Specific jurisdiction exists when the plaintiff's claim
against the non-resident defendant arises out of or relates
to activities that the defendant purposefully directed at the
forum state. Alpine View Co. v. Atlas Copco AB, 205
F.3d 208, 215 (5th Cir.2000), quoting Burger
King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472, 105 S.Ct.
2174, 85 L.Ed.2d 528 (1985). In contrast, general
jurisdiction requires the defendant to have maintained
“continuous and systematic” contacts with the
forum state. Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v.
Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 415-16, 104 S.Ct. 1868, 80 L.Ed.2d
over a non-resident defendant is proper when (1) the
defendant is amenable to service of process under the
long-arm statute of the forum state and (2) the exercise of
personal jurisdiction is consistent with the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Dalton v. R&W
Marine, Inc., 897 F.2d 1359, 1361 (5th Cir.
1990). In the instant case, “these two inquiries merge
into one because Louisiana's long-arm statute permits
service of process coterminous with the scope of the due
process clause.” Nuovo Pignone, SpA v. STORMAN ASIA
M/V, 310 F.3d 374, 378 (5thCir. 2002)
(reversed in part on other grounds), citing La. R.S.
13:3201(B). “The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment protects a corporation, as it does an individual,
against being made subject to “the binding judgments of
a forum with which it has established no meaningful
‘contacts, ties, or relations.'”
Pervasive Software Inc. v. Lexware GmbH & Co.
KG, 688 F.3d 214, 2205th Cir. 2012).
may exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant when “(1) that defendant has purposefully
availed itself of the benefits and protections of the forum
state by establishing ‘minimum contacts' with the
forum state and (2) the exercise of personal jurisdiction
over that defendant does not offend ‘traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.'”
Latshaw v. Johnston, 167 F.3d 208, 211
(5th Cir. 1999) quoting Int'l Shoe,
326 U.S. at 316.
contacts” can be established through specific
jurisdiction or general jurisdiction. Alpine View Co.
Ltd. v. Atlas Copco AB, 205 F.3d 208, 215
(5th Cir. 2000). Specific personal jurisdiction
exists (1) when a defendant has purposely directed its
activities, or availed itself of the privileges of conducting
its activities, toward the forum state; (2) the controversy
arises out of or is related to those activities; and (3) the
exercise of jurisdiction is fair, just, and reasonable.
Nuovo Pignone, SpA, 310 F.3d 378, citing Burger
King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 (1985).
General personal jurisdiction exists when the defendant has
engaged in continuous and systematic activities in the forum
state, regardless of whether such activity is related to the
plaintiff's cause of action. Helicopteros Nacionales
de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 415 (1984).
a nonresident defendant has sufficient related or unrelated
minimum contacts with the forum, we must then consider
whether the ‘fairness' prong of the jurisdictional
inquiry is satisfied.” Wilson v. Belin, 20
F.3d 644, 647 (5th Cir. 1994). The fairness
inquiry is determined by analyzing several factors: (1) the
burden upon the nonresident defendant of litigating in the
forum state; (2) the interests of the forum state; (3) the
plaintiff's interest in securing relief; (4) the judicial
system's interest in obtaining an efficient resolution of
controversies; and (5) the shared interest of the states in
furthering fundamental substantive social policies.
Bullion v. Gillespie, 895 F.2d 213, 216 n.5
(5th Cir. 1990).
Specific jurisdiction analysis
personal jurisdiction exists (1) when a defendant has
purposely directed its activities, or availed itself of the
privileges of conducting its activities, toward the forum
state; (2) the controversy arises out of or is related to
those activities; and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction is
fair, just, and reasonable. Nuovo Pignone,
SpA, 310 F.3d 378, citing Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 (1985). As the Court stated
in Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown,
564 U.S. 915, 919, 131 S.Ct. 2846, 2851, 180 L.Ed.2d 796
Specific jurisdiction . . . depends on an
“affiliatio[n] between the forum and the underlying
controversy, ” principally, activity or an occurrence
that takes place in the forum State and is therefore subject
to the State's regulation. In contrast to general,
all-purpose jurisdiction, specific jurisdiction is confined
to adjudication of “issues deriving from, or connected
with, the very controversy that establishes
(internal citations omitted).
careful analysis of the arguments and record in this matter,
the undersigned concludes that plaintiff fails to establish
that this Court has specific jurisdiction over Hernandez.
Hernandez has not purposefully directed his activities toward
Louisiana or purposefully availed himself of the privileges
of conducting activities in Louisiana. Plaintiff does not
dispute that Hernandez lives and works in Texas.
Additionally, there are no allegations that Hernandez
maintains any residences in Louisiana, maintains any
financial accounts in Louisiana, receives mail in Louisiana,
travels to Louisiana, or otherwise personally conducts any
business in Louisiana.
look at the allegations contained in the Second Amended
Complaint reveals that such allegations do not precisely
state a connection between Hernandez and the state ...