United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motions to Dismiss for Lack
of Jurisdiction, [Doc. No.'s 12, 13, 14, 26, 34, 46, 59,
79, 159, 165, 186, and 215]. Plaintiffs oppose the Motions.
For the reasons set forth below, the Motions will be granted.
removed this matter to federal court from the Circuit Court
of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, on January 19, 2017.
According to the Petition, Defendants maintain registered
agents in the state of Missouri, and are engaged in business
in Missouri. Plaintiff Willie Everett is a resident of
Missouri who was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or
otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers and/or asbestiform fibers
emanating from certain products he was working with and
around which were manufactured, sold, distributed or
installed by Defendants.
response to the Petition, Defendants moved to dismiss the
action under Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure for lack of personal jurisdiction. Defendants
contend they have not consented to personal jurisdiction. In
light of the Missouri Supreme Court's recent ruling in
State ex rel. Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Dolan, 512
S.W.3d 41 (Mo. 2017 en banc).
have asserted that Defendants consented to personal
jurisdiction because they maintain a registered agent in
Missouri. Since the filing of this action, the Missouri
Supreme Court has held that “[t]he plain language of
Missouri's registration statutes does not mention consent
to personal jurisdiction for unrelated claims, nor does it
purport to provide an independent basis for jurisdiction over
foreign corporations that register in Missouri.”
Dolan, 512 S.W.3d at 51. Furthermore, the
registration statute does not provide an independent basis
for broadening Missouri's personal jurisdiction to
include suits unrelated to the corporation's forum
activities when the usual bases for general jurisdiction are
not present. To the extent the holdings or dicta in prior
cases suggest otherwise, they go beyond the language of the
relevant statutes and should no longer be followed.
Id. at 52.
the Missouri Supreme Court has clarified the clear basis
under Missouri law for the exercise of personal jurisdiction
over Defendants is not consent or solely registration and
therefore no longer valid. Id. Plaintiffs concede
that registration no longer provides a basis for a court to
exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant.
to Rule 12(b)(2), an action may be dismissed if the district
court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant.
“To allege personal jurisdiction, a plaintiff must
state sufficient facts in the complaint to support a
reasonable inference that the defendant can be subjected to
jurisdiction within the state.” Dairy Farmers of
Am., Inc. v. Bassett & Walker Int'l, Inc., 702
F.3d 472, 474-75 (8th Cir. 2012) (citations, quotations marks
and alteration omitted). “If the defendant controverts
or denies jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of
proving facts supporting personal jurisdiction.”
Id. The showing of jurisdiction “must be
tested, not by the pleadings alone, but by the affidavits and
exhibits presented with the motions and in opposition
thereto.” Id. (internal quotation marks
of overview, the Court notes that absent waiver or consent,
“[p]ersonal jurisdiction can be specific or
general.” Fastpath, Inc. v. Arbela Techs.
Corp., 760 F.3d 816, 820 (8th Cir. 2014) (citation
omitted). “Specific jurisdiction refers to jurisdiction
over causes of action arising from or related to a
defendant's actions within the forum state, while general
jurisdiction refers to the power of a state to adjudicate any
cause of action involving a particular defendant, regardless
of where the cause of action arose.” Viasystems,
Inc. v. EBM-Papst St. Georgen GmbH & Co., KG, 646
F.3d 589, 593 (8th Cir. 2011).
jurisdiction “requires a relationship between the
forum, the cause of action, and the
defendant.” Myers v. Casino Queen,
Inc., 689 F.3d 904, 912 (8th Cir. 2012) (citation
omitted). This occurs “when the defendant purposely
directs its activities in the forum state and the litigation
results from injuries relating to the defendant's
activities in the forum state.” Id. at 912-13.
The relationship between a defendant's contacts and the
cause of action is not restricted to a proximate cause
standard but should take into account the “totality of
the circumstances.” Id. The exercise of
specific jurisdiction is appropriate only if authorized by
the forum state's long-arm statute and permitted by the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bryant v.
Smith Interior Design Grp., Inc., 310 S.W.3d 227, 231
process requires that the defendant has sufficient
“minimum contacts with [the forum state] such that the
maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions
of fair play and substantial justice.” Int'l
Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). Generally,
“those who live or operate primarily outside a State
have a due process right not to be subjected to judgment in
its courts.” J. McIntyre Mach., Ltd. v.
Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873, 881 (2011) (plurality opinion).
However, sufficient minimum contacts exist when “the
defendant's conduct and connection with the forum are
such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into
court there.” World-Wide Volkswagen Corp.
v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). In evaluating
“reasonable anticipation” the court must
determine whether there is “some act by which the
defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of
conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking
the benefits and protections of its laws.” Burger
King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 475 (1985).
argue that the “jurisdiction by necessity”
doctrine should apply. Under this doctrine, jurisdiction
could be exercised where there exists no other forum in which