United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
Jeremiah C. Lynch, United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is Defendant Wright Medical Group, Inc.'s
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. For the reasons discussed, the Court recommends
the motion be granted without prejudice.
Craig Matosich resides in Missoula, Montana. In 2008, after
arthritis in his right hip began limiting his activities,
Matosich underwent a surgical procedure for a total hip
replacement. The procedure involved the implant of medical
products identified as the Profemur neck and Profemur Z
femoral stem, a Conserve Head and a Conserve Cup. Matosich
alleges the products were all designed, manufactured and sold
by both Defendants Wright Medical Group, Inc. and Wright
Medical Technology, Inc.
September 4, 2017, Matosich's “right leg suddenly
gave out[, ]” and he fell to the floor in his house.
(Doc. 1 at ¶ 18.) He alleges it was subsequently
determined that the medical products surgically implanted to
replace his hip in 2008 had failed - the femoral neck product
had broken. He then underwent a lengthy surgical procedure to
repair and replace the broken hip components.
alleges Defendants are liable for the failure of the medical
products he received in the 2008 hip replacement surgery. In
his complaint he advances several causes of action under
Montana law. He asserts subject matter jurisdiction over this
action is predicated upon diversity of citizenship, and that
the requisite amount in controversy is satisfied, all as
provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
alleges Wright Medical Group is a corporation organized under
the laws of the State of Delaware, with its a headquarters
and principal place of business in the State of Tennessee.
And he alleges Wright Medical Technology, Inc. is a
subsidiary of Wright Medical Group which was also
incorporated under the laws of the Delaware with its
principal place of business in Tennessee. But Wright Medical
Group contends it has no contacts with the State of Montana
sufficient to support the existence of this Court's
personal jurisdiction over it and, therefore, it moves for
dismissal. For the reasons discussed, the Court agrees.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit a defendant to move
to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(2). In responding to the motion, the plaintiff bears
the burden of establishing that the exercise of personal
jurisdiction is proper. Ranza v. Nike, Inc., 793
F.3d 1059, 1068 (9th Cir. 2015). The court may
consider affidavits and written discovery material to decide
the personal jurisdiction issue raised in a motion to
dismiss. Davis v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co.,
861 F.2d 1159, 1161 (9th Cir. 1988). Where a
motion to dismiss is analyzed based only upon written
materials rather than an evidentiary hearing, then “the
plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of
jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to
dismiss.” Ranza, at 1068 (citation and
quotation omitted). Although the plaintiff may not simply
rest on the bare allegations in the complaint, the court must
accept uncontroverted allegations in a pleading as true, and
conflicts between competing statements in affidavits must be
resolved in the plaintiffs favor. Id. (citation and
quotation omitted); Mavrix Photo, Inc. v. Brand
Technologies, Inc., 647 F.3d 1218, 1223 (9th
case predicated upon diversity of citizenship jurisdiction,
to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant the “court must make the following
determinations: (1) whether an applicable state rule or
statute confers personal jurisdiction over the defendant; and
(2) whether assertion of jurisdiction comports with
constitutional principles of due process.” Signal
Peak Energy, LLC v. Generon IGS, Inc., 2018 WL
5309820, *3 (D. Mont. 2018) (citing Data Disk, Inc. v.
Systems Technology Associates, Inc., 557 F.2d 1280, 1286
(9th Cir. 1977)). Under the first prong, generally
federal courts apply applicable state law in determining the
bounds of their personal jurisdiction over a defendant.
Ranza, 793 F.3d at 1068.
response to Wright Medical Group's motion Matosich does
not identify and argue a specific state statute or rule which
confers personal jurisdiction. Therefore, the Court will
proceed to consider whether a finding of personal
jurisdiction over Wright Medical Group comports with due
process under the United States Constitution.
general, federal due process principles require that to have
personal jurisdiction over a particular defendant the
defendant must “have certain minimum contacts”
with the forum state “such that the maintenance of the
suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play
and substantial justice.' ” Picot v.
Weston, 780 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2015)
(quoting International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326
U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). Depending upon the extent of the
minimum contacts, two forms of personal jurisdiction may
exist: general and specific. Picot, at 1211. General
personal jurisdiction may exist where a defendant's
affiliations and contacts with the forum state are “so
continuous and systematic as to render the foreign
corporation at home in the forum State[.]” Ranza v.
Nike, Inc., 793 F.3d 1059, 1069 (9th Cir.
does not argue Wright Medical Group has such continuous and
systematic contacts with the State of Montana so as to render
it present in Montana for general personal jurisdiction.
Thus, jurisdiction can only ...