United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL
INC.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS FOR LACK OF
S. Lasnik United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on defendant Honeywell
International Inc.'s motion for judgment on the pleadings
for lack of personal jurisdiction. Dkt. # 152. Plaintiffs
Matthew and Sylvia Hodjera, a married couple, allege that Mr.
Hodjera's mesothelioma was proximately caused by various
corporate defendants' manufacture, sale, and/or
distribution of asbestos-containing products. Defendant
Honeywell International Inc. (“Honeywell”) moves
for judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c),
arguing that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over it.
Having reviewed the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits
submitted by the parties, the Court grants the motion for the
reasons that follow.
to the complaint, Mr. Hodjera was exposed to asbestos or
asbestos-containing products in Toronto, Ontario, between
1986 and 1994. Dkt. # 1-1 at 4. On May 20, 2016, Mr. Hodjera
was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Id.
December 2, 2016, plaintiffs filed suit in King County
Superior Court, alleging that Mr. Hodjera's mesothelioma
had been proximately caused by the manufacture, sale, and/or
distribution of asbestos-containing products by the following
defendants: BASF Catalysts LLC; BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc.;
Central Precision Limited; Charles B. Chrystal Company, Inc.;
Dana Companies, LLC; Dana Canada Corp.; DAP Products, Inc.;
Felt Products Mfg. Co.; Honeywell International Inc.; Imerys
Talc America, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Johnson &
Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.; Pneumo Abex LLC; Union
Carbide Corporation; Vanderbilt Minerals LLC; Volkswagen
Aktiengesellschaft; Volkswagen Group of Canada; Volkswagen
Group of America, Inc.; Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc.;
and Does 1-350, inclusive. Dkt. # 1-1 at 2-3. On January 11,
2017, defendant Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. removed the
case. Dkt. # 1. Various defendants have moved to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction.
motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a motion for
judgment on the pleadings tests the legal sufficiency of the
claims asserted in the complaint; the same standard applies
to both types of motions. See Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v.
General Dynamics C4 Systems, Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054
& n.4 (9th Cir. 2011).
Honeywell argues that plaintiffs' complaint fails to
allege facts supporting personal jurisdiction over it.
Honeywell is a Delaware corporation with its principal place
of business in New Jersey. Dkt. # 152 at 2 n.1. The
complaint's only allegations specific to Honeywell are
that it “knew or should have known of the specific
medical and scientific data, literature and test results
relating to the manufacture, as well as to the grinding and
drilling, of automobile asbestos containing brake linings
and/or clutch friction materials, ” Dkt. # 1-1 at
11-12. The complaint does not allege that Honeywell's
products were present in Toronto between 1986 and 1994.
See generally Dkt. # 1-1.
process requires a district court to have personal
jurisdiction over a defendant in order to adjudicate a claim
against it. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 753
(2014). Plaintiffs have the burden of demonstrating that the
Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over Honeywell.
Harris Rutsky & Co. Ins. Services, Inc. v. Bell &
Clements Ltd., 328 F.3d 1122, 1128-29 (9th Cir. 2003).
Absent an evidentiary hearing, plaintiffs need only make,
through the submission of pleadings and affidavits, a prima
facie showing of facts supporting personal jurisdiction to
avoid dismissal. Myers v. Bennett Law Offices, 238
F.3d 1068, 1071 (9th Cir. 2001). Provided the long-arm
statute of the state in which the Court sits permits the
Court's exercise of personal jurisdiction,  there are two
ways to establish that the Court has personal jurisdiction
over a particular defendant. Id. at 753-55. This
order considers each in turn.
defendant is subject to a court's general personal
jurisdiction when its contacts are “so constant and
pervasive as to render it essentially at home” in the
forum. Daimler AG, 134 S.Ct. at 751 (internal
quotation and brackets omitted). General jurisdiction over a
party ensures personal jurisdiction over that party for any
claim, regardless of that claim's relationship to the
forum. Id. at 761. Because Honeywell is not
incorporated in Washington and does not have its principal
place of business in Washington, the Court agrees that it
lacks general personal jurisdiction over Honeywell. See
Daimler AG, 134 S.Ct. at 760-61 (quoting Goodyear
Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564
U.S. 915, 919 (2011)).
defendant may also be sued in a forum where it has minimal
contacts, provided those contacts are purposefully directed
at the forum, the claim arises out of those contacts, and the
exercise of jurisdiction over that party is reasonable.
See Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1155
(9th Cir. 2006).
argue that Mr. Hodjera's illness was caused by his
exposure to “asbestos and asbestos-containing products
that were mined, manufactured, produced, and/or placed into
the stream of commerce by the defendants in this case.”
Dkt. # 165 at 3. To establish personal jurisdiction over
Honeywell, plaintiffs allege that Bendix Corporation,
Honeywell's predecessor-in-interest, purposefully availed
itself of this Washington forum by manufacturing friction
materials for use in brakes, that these materials contained
asbestos, and that Mr. Hodjera worked with these friction
materials. Dkt. # 173 at 8-9. Plaintiffs further allege that
Honeywell is licensed to do business in Washington state, and
that it has offices ...