United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
S. Lasnik United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for
leave to amend their complaint. Dkt. # 164. The Court
previously dismissed without prejudice the plaintiffs'
claims against defendants Whittaker, Clark & Daniels,
Inc., Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Volkswagen
Aktiengesellschaft, Volkswagen Group of Canada, Dana
Companies, LLC, Dana Canada Corp., Imerys Talc America Inc.,
and Honeywell International Inc., but indicated that if
plaintiffs were able to remedy the deficiencies identified,
they were free to move to amend their complaint by Friday,
June 2, 2017. Dkt. ## 153, 155, 156, 157, 162, 163. This
motion follows. Having reviewed the memoranda of the parties
and the remainder of the record, the Court denies
plaintiffs' motion for the reasons that
to the original 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. On
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. As noted above, the Court granted various
motions to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiffs'
original complaint lacked sufficient factual allegations to
establish specific jurisdiction in Washington. Dkt. ## 153,
155, 156, 157, 162, 163.
“should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). There is a
“strong policy in favor of allowing amendment”
after “considering four factors: bad faith, undue
delay, prejudice to the opposing party, and the futility of
amendment.” Kaplan v. Rose, 49 F.3d 1363, 1370
(9th Cir. 1994). The underlying purpose of Rule 15 is
“to facilitate decision on the merits, rather than on
the pleadings or technicalities.” Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000). However, if
the proposed amendment would be futile (i.e., it
would be immediately subject to dismissal if challenged under
Rule 12(b)(6)), there is no reason to put defendants through
the unnecessary expense and delay of responding to the
amendment. Nordyke v. King, 644 F.3d 776, 787 n.12
(9th Cir. 2011).
proposed amended complaint substantially elaborates on the
claims raised in their original complaint. See Dkt.
# 164-1. The proposed amended complaint now contains detailed
factual allegations about Mr. Hodjera's work in an
automotive repair department in Ontario, Canada during the
summer of 1986, including allegations that Mr. Hodjera worked
with vehicles and parts containing asbestos that were
manufactured and/or distributed by various defendants. Dkt. #
164-1 at 7-11.
proposed amended complaint does not, however, remedy the
jurisdictional deficiencies identified in the Court's
earlier orders. As in their original complaint, plaintiffs
argue that specific jurisdiction in Washington
exists over various corporate defendants whose products
exposed Mr. Hodjera to asbestos in Canada.
Accordingly, plaintiffs still fail to satisfy the second
prong of the specific jurisdiction test: the requirement that
their claims arise out of the defendant's purposeful
contacts with the forum state. There is no allegation that
Mr. Hodjera's asbestos exposure would not have occurred
but for the defendants' contacts with Washington. See
Doe v. American Nat. Red Cross, 112 F.3d 1048, 1051 (9th
plaintiffs' proposed amended complaint fails to remedy
the previously identified jurisdictional deficiencies in
their original complaint, amendment of plaintiffs'
complaint to reinitiate suit against the dismissed defendants
- Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc.; Volkswagen Group of
America, Inc.; Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft; Volkswagen
Group of Canada; Dana Companies, LLC; Dana Canada Corp.;
Imerys Talc America Inc.; and Honeywell International Inc. -
would be futile. See Nordyke, 644 F.3d at 787 n.12.
The claims against those defendants, which were previously
dismissed without prejudice, are hereby dismissed with
foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend
their complaint (Dkt. # 164) is DENIED.
 The Court concludes that this matter
is suitable for resolution without oral argument.
Accordingly, defendants' requests for argument, Dkt. ##