United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
D. CAIN, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is a Motion to Dismiss [doc. 42] filed by
third-party defendant Woodward, Inc.
(''Woodward") under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(2) and relating to the third-party complaint
filed against it by defendant/third-party plaintiff Kansas
Aviation of Independence, LLC ("Kansas Aviation").
Kansas Aviation opposes the motion [doc. 46], which is now
ripe for review.
action began on May 3, 2017, with a complaint filed by Lake
Air Service, LLC ("Lake Air") in the 31st Judicial
District, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, against Kansas
Aviation and its insurer. Doc. 1. att. 2. Lake Air alleged
that in January 2016, Kansas Aviation had overhauled the fuel
control unit for the engine of Lake Air's airplane and
issued an "'Airworthiness Approval Tag,"
followed by a certification in February 2016 releasing the
part to service. Id. at 3. Lake Air maintains that
Kansas Aviation negligently performed this work, causing a
power surge that damaged the engine during a flight leaving
from Lake Arthur, Louisiana, on May 4, 2016. Id. at
Aviation removed the matter to this court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Doc. 1. It
then moved for dismissal of all claims under Rule 12(b)(2),
asserting a lack of personal jurisdiction. Doc. 6. The court
disagreed, finding sufficient minimum contacts under a stream
of commerce theory between Kansas Aviation and this state,
based on Kansas Aviation's contract to perform
maintenance/overhaul on parts provided by Enemy Aircraft,
LLC, an Arkansas aviation repair facility; and its work under
that contract on the fuel control unit that is the subject of
this action. Docs. 16, 19.
Air amended its complaint on January 16, 2019, to add a claim
against Kansas Aviation under the Louisiana Products
Liability Act ("LPLA"), Louisiana Revised Statute
§ 9:2800.51 el seq. Doc. 34. Specifically, Lake
Air asserts that Kansas Aviation's overhaul work on the
fuel control unit renders it the manufacturer of that part
under Louisiana law and that it is therefore liable for the
part's allegedly dangerous condition. Id. Kansas
Aviation then filed a third-party complaint against Woodward,
Inc., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of
business in Fort Collins, Colorado. Doc. 36; see
doc. 42, att. 3 (correcting principal place of business).
Kansas Aviation alleges that (1) Woodward is the manufacturer
of the fuel control unit and its component parts, (2) its own
work on the fuel control unit was strictly limited to
overhauling that part in accordance with Woodward's
guidelines, and (3) it (Kansas Aviation) is therefore
entitled to indemnity from Woodward based on any finding of
fault under the LPLA. Id.
now moves to dismiss this claim for lack of personal
jurisdiction. Doc, 42. Kansas Aviation opposes the motion,
arguing that the court has specific personal jurisdiction
over Woodward under the same stream of commerce theory used
to support its jurisdiction over Kansas Aviation in the
previous motion. Doc. 46.
seeking lo invoke the power of the court bears the burden of
proving that jurisdiction exists, and so the plaintiff
carries the burden on the defendant's challenge to
personal jurisdiction. Lav N' Care, Ltd. v.
Insta-Mix, Inc., 438 F.3d 465, 469 (5th Cir. 2006)
(citing Wyail v. Kaplan, 686 F.2d 276, 280 (5th Cir.
1982)). However, the plaintiff is only required to make a
prima facie showing and the court must resolve all
undisputed facts submitted by the plaintiff, as well as all
facts contested in the affidavit, in favor of jurisdiction,
conditions must be satisfied before this court will assert
personal jurisdiction: (1) the defendant must be amenable to
service under the forum state's long-arm statute, and (2)
the assertion of jurisdiction must comport with the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Jones v.
Petty-Ray Geophysical Geosoitrce, Inc., 954 F.2d 1061,
1067 (5th Cir. 1992), The Louisiana long-arm statute is
coextensive with the limits of due process. E.g., Laird
v. Deep Marine Technology. Inc., 2004 WL 2984282, *1
(E.D, La. Dec. 7, 2004). Therefore the requirements are
combined for the purpose of this analysis. Id.
order for personal jurisdiction to comport with
constitutional standards of due process, the plaintiff must
show that (1) the defendant purposefully availed itself of
the benefits and protections of the forum state by
establishing "minimum contacts" with that state;
and (2) exercising jurisdiction over the defendant would not
offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice. Jones, 954 F.2d at 1068. The "minimum
contacts" prong may be met through contacts giving rise
to either general or specific jurisdiction. Gundle Lining
Constr. Corp. v. Adams Cnty. Asphalt, Inc., 85 F.3d 201,
205 (5th Cir. 1996). Specific jurisdiction, which is asserted
here, exists when a nonresident defendant "has
purposefully directed its activities at the forum slate and
the litigation results from alleged injuries that arise out
of or relate to those activities." Walk Haydel
& Assocs.. Inc. v. Coastal Power Prod Co., 517
F.3d 235, 243 (5th Cir. 2008). Due process thus requires (1)
minimum contacts purposefully directed at the forum state,
(2) a nexus between the contacts and the claims, and (3) that
the exercise of jurisdiction will be fair and reasonable (the
second prong described above). McFadin v. Gerber,
587 F.3d 753, 759-60 (5th Cir. 2009); see also
ITL Int'l, Inc. v. Comtenla, S.A., 669 F.3d 493, 498
(5th Cir. 2012).
the plaintiffs burden to satisfy the first two prongs, with
the burden then shifting to the movant to show that an
exercise of jurisdiction would be unfair or unreasonable.
Seiferlh v. Helicopteros Atuneros, Inc., 472 F.3d
266, 271 (5th Cir. 2006). To determine whether the "fair
play" prong is met, the courts look to five factors:
"(1) the burden on the nonresident defendant, (2) the
forum state's interest, (3) the plaintiffs interest in
securing relief, (4) the interest of the interstate judicial
system in the efficient administration of justice, and (5)
the shared interest of the several states in furthering
fundamental social policies," McFadin, 587 F.3d
at 759-60. "It is rare to say the assertion ...