COMPLETE CAPITAL SERVICES, INC. v. ZIPPO COMMUNICATIONS LLC et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Jose L. Linares on 1/23/17. (DD, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT Of NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No.: 15-4526 (JLL)
ROGER WILLIAMS MEDICAL CENTER, et
LINARES, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court by way of Defendants BDL Products, Inc. (“BDL”),
CARgenix Holdings, LLC (“CARgenix”), TNK Therapeutics, Inc. (“INK”), and Sorrento
Therapeutics, Inc.’s (“Sorrento”) (collectively referred to as “Movants”) Motion to Dismiss the
Third Amended Complaint (ECF No. 77) pursuant to Rule I 2(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure (ECF No. 102). Plaintiff Immunornedics, Inc. has submitted an opposition (ECF No.
10$), which Movants have replied to (ECF No. 113). The Court decides this matter without oral
argument pursuant to Rule 7$ of the federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court grants the Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff is a Delaware biopharmaceutical corporation that focuses on the develo
monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoim
and other serious diseases. (See ECF No. 77 at ¶20 (“Cornpl.”)). Defendant CARg
enix is a Rhode
Island based corporation formed by Defendant Richard P. Junhans, and “focus
es on three CAR-T
cell therapies.” Compi. at ¶ 24. Defendant Junghans is a physician and researc
h scientist who was
employed by Defendant Roger Williams Medical Center (“RWMC”) and
is now currently
employed by Tufts University School of Medicine. Compi. at 22. Defend
ant BDL is a Boston,
Massachusetts based corporation formed by Defendant Junghans in July 2015.
Defendant Sorrento is a San Diego, California corporation and is “an antibo
stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for cancer
, inflammation, and
autoimmune diseases.” Compl.
¶ 26. Defendant TNK is a wholly-owned San Diego based
subsidiary of Defendant Sorrento and was formed in May 2015. Compl.
Katz is a physician and researcher at RWMC. Compi.
¶ 23.2 Katz joined Junghans’ laboratory in
2014 and is an equity owner of Defendant CARgenix. Compl.
¶ 27. finally, Defendant
¶J 72-74, 24.
The Subject Antibodies and Material Transfer Agreements
Plaintiffs non-patent claims are based on three material transfer agreements
from 1993, 2008 and 2010. Compi.
¶J 32-65. Each MTA concerns a distinct material from
‘This background is derived from Plaintiffs Third Amended Complaint, which
the Court must accept as true at this
of the proceedings. SeeAlston v. Cottntiywide fin. Corp., 585 f.3d 753, 758
(3d Cir. 2009).
The Court notes that there are three additional Defendants in this action
who filed separate Motions to Dismiss
(ECF Nos. 93, 94). The Court has already disposed of these motions. (ECF
Nos. 118, 120). Thus, for purposes of
these Motions, the Court will only discuss the four moving Defendants, which
shall be collectively referred to as
Plaintiff to Defendant Junghans and RWMC. Compi. ¶J 32, 44, 53. The MTAs transferred a total
of three distinct antibodies from Plaintiff to Junghans and RMWC. Id., see also Cornpl. ¶34, 39.
The three transferred materials were: 1) murine MN-14 monoclonal antibody (“MN-14”); 2) a
humanized version of the murine MN-14 monoclonal antibody (“hMN-14”); and 3) the W12
antibody. Compi. ¶J 32-65; see also Compi. at Exhibits A-C. The first two antibodies are designed
to recognize and bind to proteins called carcinoembryonic antigen (“CEA”) which is expressed
and released by many types of tumor cells. Compl. at Exhibits A-B. The W12 antibody recognizes
and binds to MN-14 antibodies. Id. at Exhibit C.
The Subject Patents
The aforementioned antibodies are the subject of three of Plaintiffs patents, bearing the
following U.S. Patent Numbers: 1) 5,874,540 (“ ‘540 Patent”)(see Compl. at Exhibit A); 2)
‘$93 Patent”)(see Compl. at Exhibit B); and 3) 6,676,924
at Exhibit C). Cornpl.
‘924 Patent”)(see Cornpl.
The ‘540 Patent was issued on February 23, 1999 and claimed
humanized monoclonal antibodies having variable regions with particular amino acid sequences
173-74. The ‘924 Patent was issued on January 13, 2004 and claimed
methods treating or diagnosing patients compromising administering a therapeutic or diagnostic
agent bound to hMN-l4. Compl.
189-90. Finally, the ‘893 Patent was issued on August 9,
2005 and claimed methods for introducing cellular immune response against a tumor that
expressed CEA. Compl.
Prior to engaging in the subject research, Defendant Junghans was working on different
¶ 2, 33.
However, Junghans became interested in the subject anti-bodies and
Junghans sought to experiment and research Plaintiffs antibodies,
specifically the hMN-14 antibody to the CEA antigen. Compi.
¶f 3. The DNA encoding for the
hN’[N- 14 was the material provided by Plaintiff to Junghans and his then-employer New England
Deaconess Hospital, and the transfer was subject to the 1993 MTA with the unique encoding
referred to as “Research Material.” Compl. ¶J 34, 39. Under this agreement the Research Material
was only to be used in connection with a “Research Project” which was outlined in
communications between the parties. Compl.
¶ 34. The MTA defined Research Project as “the
research project outlined in the August 20, 1993 communications between Dr. Junghans and
[Plaintiff]” as it related to MN-14 which target CEA to be part of the “designer T cells” project.
Thereafter, Defendant Junghans created a chirneric antigen receptor (“CAR”) using the
materials provided by Plaintiff.
¶ 6$. CAR incorporates parts of hMN-14 which
recognizes CEA, and is referred to an anti-CEA or CAR-T construct. Id. As a result, Junghans
filed for a patent under Patent Application No. 200201652360 (“the ‘360 publication”), as well as
other publications dealing with the CIA-CAR construct, and authored numerous manuscripts and
articles regarding his research. Compi. ¶ 69-71. Plaintiff asserts that “[t]he amino acid sequences
of the MN-14 containing scFv, CAR, and CAR-T constructs disclosed in the ‘360 publication fall
within the claims of [Plaintiff s] ‘540 patent.” Compl.
The murine PvN-14 was provided to Junghans and RWMC by way of the 200$ MTA.
¶ 44. Paragraph 1 of the 2008 MTA explicitly states that “the Research Material was to
be used solely in connection with the research project as described in an attachment to the 200$
¶ 45. The 200$ MTA also provided Plaintiff with a first right of refusal to an
exclusive license for any resulting “Research Product” and required Junghans and RWMC to
return all unused Research Materials and related writing. Compl.
50. It also contained a
confidentiality provision which required both Junghans and RWMC to maintain the confidentiality
of all information relating to the Research Material covered by the 2008 MTA. Compi.
Plaintiff asserts Defendants did not substantially comply with any of the discussed provisions and
was forced to bring this action. Cornpl.
Finally, Plaintiff supplied Junghans and RWMC with W12 by way of the 2010 MTA.
¶ 53. W12 was provided to use in a research plan entitled “Anti-CEA designer T cells for
¶ 56. As with both the 1993 and 2008 MTAs, the 2010 MTA also
provided Plaintiff with a first right of refusal to an exclusive license for any resulting Research
Product. Compl. ¶ 62. The 2010 MTA also included provisions restricting Defendants from using
the subject Research Material in any “consulting, licensing, or similar obligations to any other
commercial entity, unless written permission” was first obtained from Plaintiff. Compl.
Moreover, the Agreement restricted Defendants’ ability to disclose any results, data or conclusions
“drawn from the study.” Compl.
¶ 60. The 2010 MTA was to terminate within two years, and
Defendants were to immediately return all research material to Plaintiff. Compl.
¶ 63. Plaintiff
asserts that Defendants believed the 2010 MTA was still in effect in August of 2015, because
Defendant Junghans wrote to Plaintiff, using RWMC letterhead, regarding the W12 Research
¶ 65. Defendant Katz was copied on this correspondence.
Plaintiff required Defendants Junghans and RWMC to sign the various MTAs because it
felt that it needed to protect its proprietary interests in MN-14 and W12. Cornpl.
¶ 67. As
discussed, one way the MTAs protected Plaintiffs intellectual property was each agreement
limited Defendants’ use of the transferred “Research Material” solely to the research project
outlined in the MTA. Compl. ¶ 34. The MTAs contained additional protection for said intellectual
property by guaranteeing Plaintiff the first right of refusal to an exclusive license for any resulting
“Research Product.” Compi.
Moreover, Plaintiff took additional measures to protect its
rights in the subject antibodies by obtaining patents for each. Compl.
¶ 67; see also Compl. at
From 1993 through August of 2015, Defendants used Plaintiffs Research Materials for
research and published various articles, as well as a patent application, relating to the subject anti
¶J 68-71. Both Katz and RWMC were aware of the MTAs and Katz knowingly
published papers that publicly acknowledged use of Plaintiffs Research Materials. Cornpl.
75-78, 93. Specifically, Junghas filed the ‘360 publication with the United States Patent and
Trademark Office, authored a manuscript entitled “Neutrophil: lymphocyte ratios and serum
cytokine changes...” that was published in November of 2014 (“2014 Manuscript”), co-authored
a manuscript entitled “Liver myeloid-derived suppressor cell expand... that was published in July
of 2015 (“2015 Manuscript”), co-authored a manuscript entitled “2 Generation Anti-CEA
Designer T Cells..
that was published in December of 2008 (“2008 Manuscript”), authored a
report entitled “T-Cell Gene Therapy to Eradicate Disseminated Breast Cancers” which was
published in January of 2011 (“2011 Report”), and co-authored a manuscript entitled “Anti-HIV
Designer T Cells Progressively Eradicate...” which was published in November of 2013 (“2013
¶ 69-82. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants failed to seek prior permission
with respect to these publications and/or the publications “exceeded the scope of permissible
activities under the MTAs.” Compl.
Plaintiff further alleges that Katz remains in possession of “stocks of Research Material”
despite Defendant Junghans departure from RWMC in May 2014. Compl.
¶ 87. Accordingly,
Plaintiff alleges Defendant Katz “has used and will continue to use the Research Material without
license from [Plaintiff], and intends to submit the findings of his work with the Research Material
for publication without notice to or preclearance from [Plaintiff].” Compl.
In May 2015, Plaintiff sent Defendant Junghans correspondence advising him that taking
any Research Material to Tufis would be “an unauthorized transfer of Research Material, and that
he otherwise had engage in numerous violations of the MTA, including” the submission of
manuscripts for publication without permission. Compl.
¶ 89. In that same letter, Plaintiff “made
three (3) demands upon [Defendant] Junghans: (a) that
 Junghans cease and desist from
conducting any further research with the Research Materials; (b) that [he] provide the required
notice prior to submitting any manuscripts on existing data; and (c) that [Defendant] Junghans
return the Research Material, including ‘all remaining stocks of [Plaintiffs] hMN-14 antibody or
derivatives thereof and/or nucleic acid sequences encoding the hMN- 14 antibody, antibody
fragment or derivatives thereof.” Compl. ¶ 90. Plaintiff then terminated the MTAs. Compi. ¶ 89.
Both RWMC and Tufis were copied on said letter. Compl.
¶ 91. Plaintiff alleges that, despite its
demands, Defendants failed to return the Research Material and continued to use same. Cornpl.
92. On May 27, 2015, Plaintiff sent Defendants an additional letter demanding the return of all
remaining and unused Research Material.
¶ 9$. “Despite the May 27, 2015 letter,
Defendants failed to return” the demanded Research Materials. Compl.
Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Katz knew that the Research Material he was
using for his publications belonged to Plaintiff and was governed by the various MTAs. Plaintiff
bolsters this allegation by pointing to numerous pieces of correspondence between Plaintiff and
Defendant Katz discussing his use of the antibody, which he admits he received from Defendant
Junghans, in order to publish scholarly articles and papers. Compl. ¶J94-97.
In December 2015, Plaintiff inquired whether Defendants “had licensed any technology
from the Research Material to any party other than” Plaintiff. Compl.
¶ 103. “Defendants refused
to answer” Plaintiffs inquiries. Id. Plaintiff further alleges Defendants created shell companies
that “would serve as repositories for the at-issue intellectual property and Research Products.”
¶ 106. Specifically, Plaintiff claims Defendant Junghans formed Defendant BDL on July
16, 2015. Compi.
¶J 110. Additionally, Plaintiff states Defendants Junghans and Katz, along with
other non-parties, formed Defendant CARgenix on October 3, 2014. Cornpl.
¶ 107. Moreover,
Defendant Sorrento is alleged to have formed Defendant TNK “as a wholly-owned Sorrento
subsidiary formed specifically to explore and commercialize CAR technology.” Compl.
Defendant Jungans transferred and/or sold Research Products to Defendant CARgenix
shortly after its creation. Cornpl.
¶ 109. Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that, on August 7, 2015,
“Defendants entered into several transactions with each other over the Research Products that were
developed from” Plaintiffs Research Material. Compl.
¶ 112. These transactions include:
a) [Defendant] TNK and [Defendant] Sorrento entered into a Membership Interest
Purchase Agreement with [Defendant] CARgenix, in which [Defendant] TNK and
[Defendant] Sorrento purchased [Defendant] CARgenix for $6 million in TNK
common stock. The [Defendant] CARgenix closing was expressly cited in Section
6.18 of the BDL Products purchase agreement;” and b) [Defendant] TNK and
[Defendant] Sorrento also purchased BDL Products for $6 million in [Defendant]
TNK common stock. Section 3.14 of the purchase agreement expressly
contemplated the sale of all “rights, title and interest in and to any rights to
‘Research Products’ (as defined in the 1993 IM MTA...),” and defined the 1993
TM MTA as the “Material Transfer Agreement between New England Deaconess
Hospital and [Plaintiff] of September 17, 1993.” Section 3.14 also required that
[Defendant] Junghans “seek the issuance of waivers or declination of licensing and
other rights by (A) [Plaintiffi under the 1993 IM MTA.
¶ 112. Additionally, none of the parties involved in these transactions sought the issuance
of waivers or declination of licensing and others rights by Plaintiff. Compl.
Thereafier, RWMC entered into an agreement with Defendant CARgenix in which RWMC
“granted [Defendant CARgenix] an exclusive patent license to ‘anti-HIV designer T cells and/or
¶ 116. Plaintiff asserts that all of the above transactions and
agreements between each and every Defendant was made without its permission. Additionally,
Defendants engaged in all of the aforementioned activity with knowledge of the MTAs and
Plaintiffs rights under said Agreements. Compl. ¶ 117. There are no allegations that indicate any
of the aforementioned transactions took place in New Jersey. Accordingly, Plaintiff brought this
action against Movants seeking to recover damages for tortious interference, conversion of its
property, and unjust enrichment.
Once a defendant files a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to
federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1 2(b)(2), the “plaintiff must prove by affidavits or other competent
evidence that jurisdiction is proper.” Metcalfe v. Renaissance Marine, Inc., 566 F.3d 324, 330 (3d
Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted).
Where, as here, the district court does not hold an
evidentiary hearing, a plaintiff need only establish a “prima fade case of personal jurisdiction and
the plaintiff is entitled to have its allegations taken as true and all factual disputes drawn in its
favor.” Miller Yacht Sales, Inc. v. Smith, 324 f.3d 93, 97 (3d Cir. 2004). Additionally, “[i]f the
contents of the plaintiffs complaint conflict with the defendant’s affidavits, the district court must
construe all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the papers in the plaintiffs favor.”
Haffen v. Btttler Specialties, Inc., 2011 WL 831933 at *2 (D.N.J. Mar. 3, 2011) (quoting 4 Wright
& Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 3d 1067.6 (3d ed. 2002)). The plaintiff, however,
retains “the burden of demonstrating that the defendants’ contacts with the forum state are
sufficient to give the court in personam jurisdiction.” Mesalic v. fibe,float Corp., 897 F.2d 696,
699 (3d Cir. 1990). “These contacts must be shown ‘with reasonable particularity.” Weilness
Pttbl’g v. Barefoot, 128 Fed. App’x 266, 268 (3d Cir. 2005) (unpublished) (quoting Mellon Bank
farino, 960 F.2d 1217, 1223 (3d Cir. 1992)).
“A federal court sitting in New Jersey has jurisdiction over parties to the extent provided
under New Jersey state law.” Miller Yacht Sales, Inc., 384 F.3d at 96 (3d Cir. 2004). “New
Jersey’s long-arm statute provides for jurisdiction coextensive with the due process requirements
of the United States Constitution.” Id. (citing N.J. Ct. R. 4:4-4(c)). A district court sitting in New
Jersey may therefore exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant if the defendant
has “certain minimum contacts with [New Jersey] such that the maintenance of the suit does not
offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.” Hemy Heide, Inc.
Co., Inc., 766 F.2d 105, 108 (3d Cir. 1985) (quoting Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310,
“Minimum contacts can be analyzed in the context of general jurisdiction or specific
jurisdiction.” Metcalfe, 566 F.3d at 334. “General jurisdiction results from, among other things,
‘systematic and continuous’ contact between a non-resident defendant and the forum state.
Spttglio v. Cabaret Lounge, 344 F. App’x 724, 725 (3d Cir. 2009) (unpublished) (quoting
International Shoe, 326 U.S. at 320. “Specific jurisdiction over a defendant exists when that
defendant has ‘purposefully directed his activities at residents of the forum and the litigation results
from alleged injuries that arise out of or relate to those activities.” Miller Yacht Sales, 384 F.3d
at 96 (quoting Burger King Corp. v. Rttdzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 (1985)).
A. General Jurisdiction
“[G]eneral jurisdiction exists when a defendant has maintained systematic and continuous
contacts with the forum state.’ This is a fact-specific inquiry, and the ‘nonresident’s contacts to
the forum must be continuous and substantial’ to support the exercise of general jurisdiction.”
Arpaio v. Dttpre, 527 F. App’x 108, 113 (3d Cir. 2013) (internal citations omitted). In recent years,
the United States Supreme Court has offered guidance on the level of “continuous and substantial”
contacts that might justify the exercise of general or “all purpose” jurisdiction.
In Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown the Court addressed a situation in which
the foreign subsidiaries of an American corporation challenged a North Carolina court’s exercise
of personal jurisdiction over them. 131 S. Ct. 2846 (2011). A unanimous Court discussed the
parameters of general jurisdiction, writing that “[f]or an individual, the paradigm forum for the
exercise of general jurisdiction is the individual’s domicile; for a corporation, it is an equivalent
place, one in which the corporation is fairly regarded as at home.” Id. at 2853-54. The Court
reiterated the principal that “[a] corporation’s ‘continuous activity of some sorts within a state’
‘is not enough to support the demand that the corporation be amenable to suits unrelated to that
activity.” Id. at 2856 (quoting Int’l Shoe Co., 326 U.S. at 318).
The Court further noted that
neither regular purchases of goods from a state nor the sales of goods to a state were sufficient, in
themselves, to subject an entity to general jurisdiction on claims unrelated to the sales/purchases.
Id. at 2856-57 (citing Helicopteros Nacionales De Colombia v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 418 (1984)).
As the Defendant subsidiaries in Goodyear had only “attenuated” contacts with the state (i.e., their
products were sold into the state via intennediaries)3 and were “in no sense at home in North
Carolina,” the Court found that the subsidiaries were not subject to general jurisdiction in North
Carolina’s courts. Id. at 2857.
The Supreme Court confirmed the narrow applicability of the general jurisdiction doctrine
inDairnlerAG v. Battman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014). InDairnler, the Court rejected a formulation of
the doctrine that would “approve the exercise of general jurisdiction in every State in which a
corporation ‘engages in a substantial, continuous, and systematic course of business,”
characterizing that broad definition as “unacceptably grasping.” Id. at 761 (internal citation
The Court observed that “the inquiry under Goodyear is not whether a foreign
corporation’s in-forum contacts can be said to be in some sense ‘continuous and systematic,’ it is
whether that corporation’s ‘affiliations with the State are so ‘continuous and systematic’ as to
render it essentially at home in the forum State.” Id. at 761 (quoting Goodyear, 131 5. Ct. at
2851). The Court also clarified that “the general jurisdiction inquiry does not ‘focus solely on the
magnitude of the defendant’s in-state contacts.’ General jurisdiction instead calls for an appraisal
of a corporation’s activities in their entirety, nationwide and worldwide.
A corporation that
operates in many places can scarcely be deemed at home in all of them. Otherwise ‘at home’
would be synonymous with ‘doing business’ tests framed before specific jurisdiction evolved in
the United States.” Id. at 762, n. 20. The Court ultimately found that there was “no basis to subject
Daimler to general jurisdiction in California, for Daimler’s slim contacts with the State hardly
render it at home there.” Id. at 760, 761-62.
The Goodyear Court also specified that while the “[f]low of a manufacturer’s products into a forum. may bolster
ties serving to bolster the exercise of specific jurisdiction do not
an affiliation germane to specfic jurisdiction
n that, based on those ties, the forum has general jurisdiction over a defendant.” Id. at 2855
warrant a determinatio
(emphases in original).
B. Specific Jurisdiction
“Specific jurisdiction is established when a non-resident defendant has ‘purposefully
directed’ his activities at a resident of the forum and the injury arises from or is related to those
activities.” Gen. Elec. Co. v. DeutzAG, 270 F.3d 144, 150 (3d Cir. 2001) (quoting Burger King,
471 U.S. at 472). In other words, specific jurisdiction exists where the “cause of action arises out
of [t]he defendant’s forum-related activities, such that the defendant should reasonably anticipate
being haled into court in that forum.” Abel v. Kirbaran, 267 F. App’x 106, 108 (3d Cir. 2008)
(internal citations and quotations omitted).
Three elements must be met to establish specific jurisdiction. HS Real Co., LLC et al. v.
Slier, 526 F. App’x 203, 206 (3d Cir. 2013). First, the defendant must have purposefully availed
itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum. Id. Second, “plaintiffs’ claims
must arise out of or relate to at least one of the contacts with the forum.” Id. (internal citations and
quotations omitted). Third, the exercise of jurisdiction must comport with traditional notions of
fair play and substantial justice. 0 ‘Connor v. Sandy Lane Hotel Co., Ltd., 496 F.3d 312, 317 (3d
Because the existence of specific jurisdiction depends on a link between the defendant’s
activity and the resulting harm, a specific jurisdiction analysis is necessarily claim specific.
Rernick v. Manfredy, 238 F.3d 248, 255 (3d Cir. 2001) (“Such a determination is claim specific
because a conclusion that the District Court has personal jurisdiction over one of the defendants
as to a particular claim asserted by [plaintiff] does not necessarily mean that it has personal
jurisdiction over that same defendant as to [plaintiffi’s other claims.”).
This Court finds that there is no basis for it to assert personal jurisdiction over the Movants.
Preliminarily, Plaintiff has conceded that none of the Movants are subject to general jurisdiction.
Moreover, the Court finds that the TAC fails to contain sufficient allegations to all this Court to
assert specific jurisdiction over Movants. The TAC contains no allegations that Movants ever
purposefully availed themselves to the privileges of conducting activity within the State of New
Jersey. None of the allegedly tortious conduct occurred within, nor are any of Movants residents
of New Jersey. (See Movants Opposition Brief at 8-1 1). As a matter of fact, all four Movants
note that they have never partaken in a single business act within this forum, and Plaintiff fails to
refute this fact.
Accordingly, there is no possible way Movants could have possibly
anticipated being haled into a Court within the State of New Jersey. Moreover, since Plaintiff
cannot establish a single contact by Movants with the State of New Jersey, it inherently cannot
show that any of its claims against Movants arose from said contact. Plaintiffs reply fails to refute
these statements with “actual proofs” as required by Time Share Vacation Club v. At!. Resorts,
Ltd., 735 F.2d, 61, 66 n.9 (3d Cir. 1984). Thus, this Court cannot exercise jurisdiction consistent
with the notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Plaintiff argues that personal jurisdiction does exist pursuant to the Calder effects test,
since the causes of actions asserted against Movants are all intentional torts. Calder v. Jones, 465
U.S. 783, 789 (1924). The Third Circuit has held that this test is applicable when: 1) defendant
committed an intention tort; 2) plaintiff felt the brunt of the harm in the forum state such that the
forum can be the focal point of the harm suffered by the plaintiff as a result of that tort; and 3)
defendant expressly aimed his tortious conduct at the forum such that the forum can be said to be
the focal point of the tortious activity. Remic v. Manfredy, 238 F.3d 24$, 25$ (3d Cir. 2001). The
first two of elements are met in this case. Plaintiff has sufficiently pled that Movants allegedly
committed three intentional torts (conversion, tortious interference, and unjust enrichment) and
that the brunt of the harm was felt in the State of New Jersey, since that is where Plaintiffs
principal place of business is.
However, the TAC fails to meet the third element of the Calder effects test. This is because
the TAC contains no allegations that Movants “expressly aimed [their] tortious conduct at” the
State of New Jersey. Nowhere within the TAC is there any allegation that Movants’ alleged
tortious conduct was designed to impact Plaintiff in the State of New Jersey nor is there a single
allegation that any part of the subject transactions occurred within New Jersey’s borders. Thus,
this argument fails and the Court finds that it is without personal jurisdiction over Movants.
For the aforementioned reasons, Movants’ Motion to Dismiss Counts IV-VI is hereby
granted without prejudice. An appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
DATED: January%, 2017
ED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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