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Banks v. Takkt America Holding, Inc.

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

September 28, 2017

KATRINA MICHELLE BANKS, Plaintiff,
v.
TAKKT AMERICAN HOLDING, INC. et al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          Henry Coke Morgan, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court pursuant to four (4) Motions to Dismiss. For clarification purposes, the Parties to this action are as follows: Plaintiff Katrina M. Banks ("Plaintiff'), Defendant and Crossclaim Plaintiff Hubert Company, LLC ("Hubert"), [1] Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Barclay Trading, LLC ("Barclay"), Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Placetech Co., Ltd. ("Placetech"), Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Prospace International Co., Ltd. ("Prospace"), Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Protrend Co., Ltd. ("Protrend"), Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Protrend Living Co., Ltd. ("Protrend Living"), and Defendant and Crossclaim Defendant Protrend Metal & Plastic Co., Ltd ("Protrend Metal & Plastic").[2] For ease of reference, the Court will refer to Prospace, Protrend, Protrend Living, and Protrend Metal & Plastic collectively as "Protrend Group."

          Plaintiff commenced this personal injury action against Hubert and Barclay in state court on July 25, 2016. Doc. 1, Ex. A. Hubert removed the case to this Court on September 13, 2016. Doc. 1. Barclay filed a Third Party Complaint against Placetech and Protrend Group on September 30, 2016. Doc. 10. On January 25, 2017, Plaintiff was given leave to add Placetech and Protrend Group as Defendants and to file an amended complaint. Doc. 17. After Plaintiff filed her Amended Complaint, Doc. 18, Hubert filed a Crossclaim against Barclay, Doc. 21, and a separate Crossclaim against Placetech and Protrend Group, Doc. 22. Placetech and Protrend Group[3] then filed the four (4) Motions to Dismiss at issue here:

1. Placetech's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to Plaintiffs Amended Complaint, Doc. 39;
2. Placetech's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to Hubert's Crossclaim, Doc. 47;
3. Protrend Group's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to Plaintiffs Amended Complaint, Doc. 42; and
4. Protrend Group's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to Hubert's Crossclaim, Doc. 49.

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Court FINDS that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants Placetech and Protrend Group. Accordingly, the Court DENIES all four (4) Motions to Dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         This action arises out of an accident during which one of the casters on a linen cart operated by Plaintiff broke, causing the cart to fall on top of and injure Plaintiff. Doc. 18 ¶¶ 22-23. Plaintiff states that upon information and belief the cart was manufactured by one or more of Placetech and the Protrend Group, Id. ¶ 15, although the cart manufacturer has not been definitively identified, see Doc. 40 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that after manufacture, the cart was distributed through Barclay, purchased by Hubert, and subsequently sold to Plaintiffs employer, Aramark/Old Dominion University ("Aramark"). Compl. ¶¶ 16-18.

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Hubert and Barclay in state court on July 25, 2016. Doc. 1, Ex. A. On September 12, 2016, Hubert filed its Answer as well as a Crossclaim against Barclay. Docs. 2, 4. Hubert removed the case to this Court on September 13, 2016. Doc. 1. Barclay filed its Answer to the Complaint and Consent to Removal on September 16, 2016. Docs. 6, 8. Barclay filed a Third Party Complaint against Placetech and Protrend Group on September 30, 2016. Doc. 10. Barclay filed its Answer to Hubert's Crossclaim, Doc. 4, on November 22, 2016. Doc. 12. On January 25, 2017, Plaintiff was given leave to add Placetech and Protrend Group as Defendants and to file an Amended Complaint. Docs. 17, 18. Barclay filed an Answer to Plaintiffs Amended Complaint on February 13, 2017. Doc. 19. On February 14, 2017, Hubert filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint, Doc. 20, a Crossclaim against Barclay, Doc. 21, and a separate Crossclaim against Placetech and Protrend Group, Doc. 22. Barclay filed an Answer to Hubert's Crossclaim, Doc. 21, on February 21, 2017. Doc. 23.

         On June 8, 2017, Placetech and Protrend Group each filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to the Amended Complaint. Docs. 39 (Placetech), 42 (Protrend Group). On June 12, 2017, Placetech and Protrend Group each filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as to Hubert's Crossclaim, Doc. 21. Docs. 47 (Placetech), 49 (Protrend Group). On June 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, regarding both Placetech's and Protrend Group's Motions to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. Doc. 51. Placetech and Protrend Group each filed a Reply to ...


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