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Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Luigi

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

March 17, 2015

LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY as Subrogee of Fiorucci Foods, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
MENOZZI LUIGI & C. S.p.A., Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., as Subrogee of Fiorucci Foods, Inc., Plaintiff: James Wingate Barkley, LEAD ATTORNEY, Morin & Barkley LLP, Charlottesville, VA; Elisabeth L. Manuel, Karen M. Stemland, Morin & Barkley LLP, Charlottesville, VA; Peter W. Vogt, Zachary Jett, PRO HAC VICE, Butler Pappas Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP (NC-NA), Charlotte, NC.

For Menozzi Luigi & C. S.p.A., Defendant: William Edgar Spivey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kaufman & Canoles PC, Norfolk, VA; Lauren Tallent Rogers, Kaufman & Canoles PC (Norfolk), Norfolk, VA.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION (Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss)

Henry E. Hudson, United States District Judge.

This matter involves alleged breaches of express and implied warranties and purported negligence by Defendant Menozzi Luigi & C. S.p.A. (" Menozzi" ), an Italian corporation, related to its design, fabrication, and installation of a customized twin rail conveying system (" Rack System" ) for Fiorucci Foods, Inc.'s (" Fiorucci" ) meat curing facility in Chesterfield County, Virginia (" Virginia facility" ). Plaintiff Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (" Plaintiff) as subrogee seeks $1,950,000 in damages from Menozzi as reimbursement for payment to its insured, Fiorucci, resulting from the collapse of the rack system at the Virginia facility.

Presently before the Court is Menozzi's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) (ECF No. 12), filed on February 6, 2015. The matter has been fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on March 10, 2015. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion to Dismiss will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), this Court draws " all reasonable inferences arising from the proof, and resolve[s] all factual disputes, in the plaintiffs favor." Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Akzo, N. V., 2 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir. 1993). Viewed through this lens, the facts are as follows.

Plaintiff " provided [Fiorucci] commercial property insurance ... [which] covered business, real and personal property owned by Fiorucci at 1800 Ruffin Mill Road, Chesterfield, Virginia]." (Am. Compl., ECF No. 1-2, at ¶ 1.) Menozzi is " an Italian corporation with its principal business in Albinea, Italy." ( Id at ¶ 2.) " Prior to June 15, 2012, Fiorucci hired[1][Menozzi] to design and supply a [rack system] for installation at the [Virginia] [f]acility for the purpose of hanging meat to cure." ( Id. at ¶ 4.) Thereafter, Menozzi supplied and delivered a rack system " designed specifically for the [Virginia]

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[f]acility to Fiorucci [for] the intended purpose of hanging meat to cure." ( Id. at ¶ 5-6.) Menozzi " provided two technicians to supervise the installation of the [rack system] at the [Virginia] [f]acility to ensure it was installed in accordance with [Menozzi's] design specifications." ( Id. at ¶ 7.) " The Menozzi technicians were on site at the [Virginia] [f]acility during the rack system's installation." ( Id. at ¶ 8.) " On or about June 15, 2012, the [rack system] collapsed at the Virginia facility" because, Plaintiff avers, " the system as designed, supplied, and installed did not adequately support its intended weight." ( Id. at U9.) The collapse of the rack system resulted in $1,950,000 in damages to Fiorucci's real, personal, and business property which Plaintiff reimbursed under the insurance policy. ( Id. at U10-11.)

Plaintiff alleges in Count I that Menozzi breached its duty to use reasonable care by " failing to properly supervise installation of the system as designed." (Id. at ¶ 16.) In Count II, Plaintiff alleges Menozzi breached an express warranty by " [s]upervising the installation of the rack system... at the [Virginia] facility in a defective manner." ( Id. at ΒΆ 21.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges in Count III that Menozzi breached an implied warranty of merchantability by providing a " custom [rack system] for the ...


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