United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ERIC KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, as Personal Representative for the Estate of RUDIE KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, deceased, Plaintiff,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE PARTS
ASSOCIATION'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant National
Automotive Parts Association's (“NAPA”)
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
(“Motion to Dismiss”). Dkt. 213. The Court has
considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the Motion to Dismiss and the remainder of the
record herein. Oral argument is unnecessary.
reasons set forth below, the Court should deny NAPA's
Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 213).
October 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this matter
in state court, alleging that Mr. Rudie
Klopman-Baerselman's (“Decedent”) exposure to
asbestos from asbestos-containing products manufactured,
sold, or distributed by the Defendants substantially
contributed to his mesothelioma, for which Defendants are
liable. Dkt. 1. On July 3, 2019, the case was removed to this
Court. Dkt. 1. The complaint was amended once in state court
and twice in this Court. Dkts. 68-1, at 688, 743; 72; 88; 90;
107; 154; 166; 167; and 168. The operative complaint is in
complaint provides that Decedent passed away from
mesothelioma on November 25, 2017. Dkt. 168, at 5. Decedent
was an employee of Royal Dutch Lloyd and Rotterdam Lloyd and
worked as a merchant mariner assigned to several vessels.
Dkt. 168, at 6. Decedent was exposed to asbestos and
asbestos-containing products while aboard the vessels. Dkt.
168, at 6. Decedent performed all maintenance and friction
work on his vehicles from 1966-1997 (with vehicle models
ranging from 1950-2016 (Dkt. 151-1, at 4-5)), which exposed
him to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. Dkt. 168,
alleges that Decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing
brakes, clutches, and gaskets supplied by NAPA. Dkt. 223.
Plaintiff alleges that the “Court has jurisdiction over
each and every named Defendant” because, “[b]y
selling, supplying, distributing, and/or causing to be used
asbestos or asbestos-containing products to which Decedent
was exposed in Washington, Defendants purposefully availed
themselves of the privilege of doing business in Washington,
thus invoking the benefits and protections of
Washington's laws.” Dkt. 168, at 5.
argues, in its instant Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2), that the Court lacks personal
jurisdiction over NAPA in this case. Dkt. 213. NAPA argues
that it “lacks sufficient contacts with the State of
Washington such that specific jurisdiction could
attach.” Dkt. 213, at 2. NAPA continues,
“Plaintiff has not alleged that general personal
jurisdiction exists over NAPA, nor could Plaintiff colorably
do so. NAPA is a Georgia limited liability company with its
principal place of business in Atlanta, Georgia.” Dkt.
213, at 2 n.2.
filed a response in opposition to NAPA's Motion to
Dismiss. Dkt. 223. Plaintiff argues that NAPA's Motion to
dismiss “seeks a ruling from the Court that it is not a
product manufacturer or seller. This is akin to a motion for
summary judgment.” Dkt. 223, at 2. Plaintiff continues,
“NAPA seeks dismissal on the basis of its claim that it
is only a ‘membership organization' and does not
sell or distribute products. This is contradicted by the
evidence that all Genuine Parts Company (GPC) parts flow
through NAPA Distribution Centers to individual NAPA-branded
stores.” Dkt. 223, at 2.
filed a reply in support of its Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 229.
Civ. P. 12(b)(2) governs the dismissal of an action based on
lack of personal jurisdiction. When a defendant moves to
dismiss a complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, the
plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction
is appropriate. Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor
Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004). Plaintiff cannot
simply rest on the bare allegations of its complaint, but
rather is obligated to come forward with facts, by affidavit
or otherwise, supporting personal jurisdiction. Amba
Marketing Systems, Inc. v. Jobar Int'l, Inc., 551
F.2d 784, 787 (9th Cir. 1977).
as here, the motion is based on written materials rather than
an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff need only make a prima
facie showing of jurisdictional facts.
Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800. A prima facie
showing means that the plaintiff has produced admissible
evidence, which if believed, is sufficient to establish the
existence of personal jurisdiction. Ballard v.
Savage, 65 F.3d 1495, 1498 (9th Cir. 1995). Conflicts
between parties over statements contained in affidavits must
be resolved in the plaintiff's favor. Id.;
Rio Props., Inc. v. Rio Int'l Interlink, 284
F.3d 1007, 1019 (9th Cir. 2002). In resolving a Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(2) motion, the court may consider evidence outside the
pleadings, including affidavits and other materials submitted
on the motion. See Daimler v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117,
123 (2014) (noting that plaintiffs opposing the motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction submitted
declarations and exhibits purporting to demonstrate
defendant's contacts in the forum state); see also
Lindora, LLC v. Isagenix Int'l, LLC, 198 F.Supp.3d
1127, 1135-36 (S.D. Cal. 2016).
no applicable federal statute addresses the issue, a
court's personal jurisdiction analysis begins with the
“long-arm” statute of the state in which the
court sits. Glencore Grain Rotterdam B.V. v. Shivnath Rai
Harnarain Co.,284 F.3d 1114, 1123 (9th Cir. 2002).
Washington's long-arm statute extends the court's
personal jurisdiction to the broadest reach that the United
States Constitution permits. Byron Nelson Co. v. Orchard
Management Corp.,95 Wn.App. 462, 465 (1999). Because
Washington's long-arm jurisdictional statute is
coextensive with ...