Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sternberg v. Langston

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

October 23, 2019

CYNTHIA LANGSTON STERNBERG
v.
KENNETH LANGSTON, ET AL.

         SECTION: “J” (3)

          ORDER & REASONS

          CARL J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction filed by Defendants Christopher Randall Purdum and Buffington Law Firm, LLC (the “Firm”) (Rec. Doc. 51), Regnal Blackledge (Rec. Doc. 55), Jennifer Langston (Rec. Doc. 58), Kenneth Langston (Rec. Doc. 73), and Katherine Langston (Rec. Doc. 82). Having considered the motions and memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the motions should be GRANTED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This litigation arises from damages allegedly sustained by Plaintiff Cynthia Langston Sternberg in connection with the succession of Lydia Marrero Langston (“the Estate”), her mother. Named as Defendants are: Kenneth Langston, current administrator of the Estate and Plaintiff's brother; Jennifer Langston, Plaintiff's sister-in-law; James Wright Langston Jr., [1] Plaintiff's brother; Katherine Langston, Plaintiff's sister; Regnal Blackledge, counsel for the Langstons in proceedings related to the Estate; Christopher Randall Purdum, prior administrator of the Estate; and the Firm, Purdum's employer. Plaintiff brings claims for breach of contract, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and gross negligence against all Defendants, as well as claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Purdum and Kenneth as administrators of the Estate, and intentional interference with a contract against Purdum. Essentially, Plaintiff claims that Defendants acted in concert to deprive her of her rights to the Estate.

         Plaintiff was initially appointed administrator of the Estate. After the Langston heirs discovered that the documents of the deceased were forged by Plaintiff, they hired Blackledge to represent them in proceedings to have the will set aside. The Mississippi court set aside the will and named Purdum as administrator. Litigation continued for approximately one year to account for the assets of the Estate in light of Plaintiff's fraud.

         During this same period, Plaintiff also initiated litigation in Texas against her siblings and sister-in-law. The Texas state court declared the trust fraudulently created by Plaintiff to be invalid and ordered Plaintiff to reimburse the Estate for the amounts she had taken.[2]

         Ultimately, the parties reached a settlement agreement in the Mississippi litigation as to the distribution of the Estate. However, Plaintiff tried to set aside the terms of the settlement, which was rejected by the Mississippi court.

         Plaintiff filed suit against Purdum and the Firm in the Southern District of Mississippi on January 4, 2017; however, once Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was denied, she did not continue to prosecute that suit.[3] Plaintiff then filed the instant suit in this Court.

         Plaintiff resides in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Kenneth and Jennifer Langston are residents of Illinois. Katherine Langston resides in Florida. Purdum and Blackledge are both residents of Mississippi. The Firm was a limited liability company formed on April 4, 2016, and dissolved on December 6, 2017, with its place of incorporation and principal place of business in Mississippi.

         PARTIES' ARGUMENTS

         I. Defendants' Motions to Dismiss

         Defendants move to dismiss all claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction. They assert the Court lacks general jurisdiction over them because no Defendant is incorporated, has a principle place of business, nor is domiciled in Louisiana. Further, they contend that the Court lacks specific jurisdiction because Defendants do not have sufficient minimum contacts with Louisiana. In addition to claiming that no contacts exist in Louisiana, Defendants maintain that the alleged harm to Plaintiff arose out of events that occurred in Mississippi, not Louisiana. Defendants also assert that Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted and, in the alternative, request the Court to transfer this case to the Southern District of Mississippi, where they assert venue would be proper.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.