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KSH Properties, Inc. v. PC Marketing, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

March 31, 2015

KSH PROPERTIES, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PC MARKETING, INC., et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT UWE LIGHT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant uwe Light GMBH's ("uwe Light") motions to dismiss for insufficient service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction (Dkts. 85, 86). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motions for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

In 2006, Defendant PC Marketing, Inc. ("PC Marketing") sold a P90 tanning bed to B&B Tans, LLC ("B&B Tans"). Dkt. 1 at 3. B&B Tans operated a Desert Sun Tanning Salon at a strip mall in Silverdale, Washington. Id. at 2.

On January 8, 2012, a fire broke out in a tanning bed at Desert Sun. Id. The fire destroyed a building in the strip mall. Id. at 3.

In November 2013, Plaintiffs Assurance Company of America, Security National Insurance Company, KSH Properties, Inc., and Beans & Leaves, LLC (collectively "Plaintiffs") filed suits against PC Marketing. Dkt. 1; C14-5210, Dkt. 1. Plaintiffs allege that a defect in the P90 tanning bed was responsible for starting the fire. Dkt. 1 at 3. On September 4, 2014, the Court consolidated Plaintiffs' suits. Dkt. 42.

PC Marketing claims that it is the distributor of the tanning bed, but not the manufacturer. Dkt. 34, Declaration of William Pierson, Ex. A. According to PC Marketing, a German company named uwe designs and manufactures the tanning bed. Dkt. 39, Declaration of Michael Rolls ¶ 4.

On November 26, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint naming uwe Light as an additional defendant. Dkt. 60. Uwe Light is German corporation. Dkt. 83, Declaration of Andreas Brazel ("Brazel Dec.") ¶ 2. Uwe Light does not have offices, employees, property, or bank accounts in Washington. Id. ¶¶ 11-12, 14-15. Uwe Light is not incorporated, registered, authorized, or licensed to do business in Washington. Id. ¶ 10. Uwe Light has never directed any advertising or marketing activities in Washington. Id. ¶¶ 16. Uwe Light has also never solicited or conducted any business in Washington. Id. ¶¶ 8, 19.

On January 9, 2015, Plaintiffs served their amended complaint on Bruce Williams ("Williams"), a PC Marketing employee. Dkt. 75. PC Marketing is a corporate entity unrelated to any uwe entity. Dkt. 82, Declaration of Michael Rolls ("Rolls Dec.") ¶ 3. Williams has never been employed by uwe Light or any other uwe entity. Dkt. 88, Declaration of Bruce Williams ("Williams Dec.") ¶ 2.

On February 26, 2015, uwe Light moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(5). Dkts. 85, 86. On March 16, 2015, Plaintiffs responded. Dkts. 94, 99. On March 20, 2015, uwe Light replied. Dkts. 101, 102. On March 27, 2015, KSH Properties and Beans & Leaves moved to strike a paragraph in uwe Light's reply.[1] Dkt. 109.

II. DISCUSSION

Uwe Light moves to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims for insufficient service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction. Dkts. 85, 86.

A. Service of Process

Uwe Light contends that Plaintiffs failed to properly serve uwe Light under the Hague Convention. Dkt. 85 at 6. In response, Plaintiffs contend that their service on ...


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