Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

C.C. v. Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

October 16, 2017

C.C., through his natural mother and guardian, MELANIE GINNEVER, Plaintiff(s),
v.
SUZUKI MANUFACTURING OF AMERICA CORPORATION, et al., Defendant(s).

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          E. RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Suzuki Motor Corporation's Motion to Dismiss [52].

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 4, 2016, Plaintiff C.C., through his mother and natural guardian, Melanie Ginnever, filed a complaint in this District alleging Defendants Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (“SMAI”) and Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation (“SMAC”) sold a defective all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) that was unreasonably dangerous when put to its reasonably anticipated use and these Defendants were negligent in designing, manufacturing, marketing, suppling, selling, leasing and otherwise distributing and placing in the stream of commerce the subject ATV [ECF No. 1]. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed SMAI and on June 21, 2017, filed an amended complaint adding Suzuki Motor Corporation (“SMC”) as a defendant [ ECF No. 41]. The following counts are included in the amended complaint: (1) Strict Product Liability against SMAC; (2) Negligence against SMAC; (3) Strict Product Liability against SMC; and (4) Negligence against SMC.

         For purposes of this Motion to Dismiss, the Court accepts as true the following facts alleged in Plaintiff's amended complaint. Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt. Agency, 615 F.3d 958, 988 (8th Cir. 2010). On July 19, 2015, Plaintiff was driving a 2013 Suzuki KingQuad ATV, VIN 5SAAK4CAAD7100094 (“the subject ATV”) near Silva, Missouri. As Plaintiff drove the subject ATV up an embankment, he lost control. When he gripped the handlebars, the left rubber handlebar grip slipped off, exposing the metal handlebar. The exposed handlebar impaled Plaintiff's left leg, severing his femoral artery. Plaintiff is a citizen and resident of Missouri. SMAC is incorporated in Georgia, with its principal place of business in Georgia. SMC is a Japanese Corporation, with its principal place of business in Japan.

         SMC filed the pending Motion to Dismiss challenging the Court's jurisdiction arguing Plaintiff failed to properly serve SMC and the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over SMC.

         II. STANDARD

         “A federal court may exercise jurisdiction over a foreign defendant only to the extent permitted by the forum state's long-arm statute and by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.” Miller v. Nippon Carbon Co., 528 F.3d 1087, 1090 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal quotations and citation omitted). The Missouri Supreme Court has held a court must analyze whether a defendant's conduct is covered by the Missouri long-arm statute and if it comports with due process in two separate inquiries. Myers v. Casino Queen, Inc., 689 F.3d 904, 909 (8th Cir. 2012) (citing Bryant v. Smith Interior Design Grp., Inc., 310 S.W.3d 227, 231 (Mo. 2010)).

         Where personal jurisdiction is controverted, the party asserting jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing a prima facie case that jurisdiction exists. Fastpath, Inc. v. Arbela Tech., Corp., 760 F.3d 816, 820 (8th Cir. 2014) Thus, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must state sufficient facts in the complaint to support a reasonable inference that [the defendant] may be subjected to jurisdiction in the forum state.” Steinbuch v. Cutler, 518 F.3d 580, 585 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal citation omitted). “The plaintiff's ‘prima facie showing' must be tested, not by the pleadings alone, but by the affidavits and exhibits presented with the motions and opposition thereto.” Dever v. Hentzen Coatings, Inc., 380 F.3d 1070, 1072-73 (8th Cir. 2004) (internal quotations and citation omitted). Personal jurisdiction can be established through either general or specific jurisdiction. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014).

         III. DISCUSSION

         In its Motion to Dismiss, SMC asserts two arguments as to why the Court lacks jurisdiction over SMC. First, SMC argues Plaintiff failed to properly serve SMC, because Plaintiff served Carl Pesce and Bruce McCall, who are not registered agents for SMC. Second, SMC contends the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over SMC, because SMC is a Japanese corporation, with its principal place of business in Japan, and it has no contacts with Missouri. The Court will address the issue of personal jurisdiction first, and then the lack of service argument.

         A. Personal Jurisdiction

         SMC asserts the Court lacks general and specific jurisdiction under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Missouri long-arm statute. Plaintiff argues maintenance of this suit in Missouri does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. As stated supra, the Court must conduct separate inquiries into whether it has ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.