Haines v. Get Air Tucson Incorporated et al

Filing 115

ORDER, granting Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Conduct Limited Jurisdictional Discovery Re: Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 107 ). Plaintiff may depose Mr. Nance, a representative of Quality Foam & Fiber Produc ts, Inc., and Val Iverson. Plaintiff shall have 120 days, up to and including October 10, 2016, to conduct this jurisdictional discovery and file his response to Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC's Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Magistrate Judge Eric J Markovich on 6/10/16. (KAH)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Blake Haines, No. CV-15-00002-TUC-RM (EJM) Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 ORDER Get Air LLC, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 16 Pending before the Court is Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC’s (“Pacific”) 17 Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint. (Doc. 103). Pacific argues that 18 the Court lacks both specific and general personal jurisdiction over it because it did not 19 purposefully direct its business activities at Arizona, nor does it have a systematic and 20 continuous presence in the state. In lieu of filing a response, Plaintiff filed a Motion for 21 Leave to Conduct Limited Jurisdictional Discovery Re: Defendant Pacific Urethanes, 22 LLC’s Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 107). 23 “The party seeking to invoke the court’s jurisdiction bears the burden of 24 establishing that jurisdiction exists.” Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986) 25 (citing Data Disc, Inc. v. Systems Tech. Assocs., 557 F.2d 1280, 1285 (9th Cir. 1977)). 26 “When a defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff is 27 ‘obligated to come forward with facts, by affidavit or otherwise, supporting personal 28 jurisdiction.’” Id. (quoting Amba Marketing Sys., Inc. v. Jobar Int’l, Inc., 551 F.2d 784, 1 787 (9th Cir. 1977)); see also Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2 2006). “If the district court decides the motion without an evidentiary hearing . . . ‘then 3 the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of the jurisdictional facts.’” Boschetto 4 v. Hansing, 539 F.3d 1011, 1015 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Sher v. Johnson, 911 F.2d 5 1357, 1361 (9th Cir. 1990). “Uncontroverted allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint must 6 be taken as true” and “‘[c]onflicts between the parties over statements contained in 7 affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff’s favor.’” Id. (quoting Schwarzenegger v. Fred 8 Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004)). However, “[t]he mere allegations 9 of a complaint, when contradicted by affidavits, are not enough to confer personal 10 jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant.” Chem Lab Products, Inc. v. Stepanek, 554 11 F.2d 371, 372 (9th Cir. 1977) (citing Taylor v. Portland Paramount Corp., 383 F.2d 634, 12 639 (9th Cir. 1967)). 13 “A court may permit discovery to aid in determining whether it has in personam 14 jurisdiction.” Data Tech, 557 F.2d at 1285 n. 1 (citing Wells Fargo & Co. v. Wells Fargo 15 Express Co., 556 F.2d 406, 430 n. 24 (9th Cir. 1977)). “‘[W]here a plaintiff’s claim of 16 personal jurisdiction appears to be both attenuated and based on bare allegations in the 17 face of specific denials made by the defendants, the Court need not permit even limited 18 discovery . . .’” Terracom v. Valley Nat. Bank, 49 F.3d 555, 562 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting 19 Rich v. KIS Cal., Inc., 121 F.R.D. 254, 259 (M.D.N.C. 1988)). However, “[d]iscovery 20 may be appropriately granted where pertinent facts bearing on the question of jurisdiction 21 are controverted or where a more satisfactory showing of the facts is necessary.” Data 22 Disc, 557 F.2d at 1285 n. 1. 23 Here, Plaintiff contends that he needs additional time to conduct limited 24 jurisdictional discovery before responding to Pacific’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiff states 25 that his products liability claim against Pacific is based on Pacific’s alleged 26 manufacturing of defective foam that was used in the foam pit at Get Air Tucson. 27 Plaintiff further states that, based on Quality Foam & Fiber Products, Inc.’s initial 28 disclosure, “it seems that the order for the foam blocks was made by Val Iverson, the -2- 1 owner of the Get Air venture, to or through Quality, and that Quality then contracted with 2 Pacific for the foam material.” (Doc. 107 at 3). Plaintiff urges the Court to allow him 3 time “to conduct discovery aimed specifically at the contentions contained in Mr. 4 Nance’s [the president of Pacific] affidavit,” wherein Mr. Nance alleges that Pacific has 5 had limited business dealings with Arizona and had no knowledge that its foam was 6 going to be used at Get Air Tucson. Id. at 4. Plaintiff intends to depose both Mr. Nance 7 and “a representative from Quality who would have the most knowledge about this order 8 for foam blocks made by Val Iverson,” and also states that it may be necessary to depose 9 Mr. Iverson, depending on what information is gleaned from the other two depositions. 10 Id. at 4–5. In response to Pacific’s claims that Plaintiff does not explain what specific 11 jurisdictional facts he needs to discover, Plaintiff states that he will “investigate the 12 business dealings and contact Pacific has had with Arizona, as well as what Pacific (not 13 just Mr. Nance) knew or should have known about the intended use of the foam material 14 it manufactured upon the order of Quality and Mr. Iverson.” (Doc. 111 at 6). 15 While the contacts between Pacific and Arizona appear to be attenuated, the Court 16 finds that further discovery should establish one way or another whether the foam 17 produced by Pacific fortuitously made its way to Arizona, or was purposely directed to 18 the state. The Court therefore concludes that limited discovery, narrowly tailored to the 19 issue of Pacific’s contacts with Arizona, is appropriate in this case. 20 Accordingly, 21 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Conduct 22 Limited Jurisdictional Discovery Re: Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC’s Motion to 23 Dismiss. (Doc. 107). Plaintiff may depose Mr. Nance, a representative of Quality Foam 24 & Fiber Products, Inc., and Val Iverson. Plaintiff shall have 120 days, up to and including 25 October 10, 2016, to conduct this jurisdictional discovery and file his response to 26 Defendant Pacific Urethanes, LLC’s Motion to Dismiss. 27 ... 28 ... -3- 1 Dated this 10th day of June, 2016. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4-

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