United States District Court, D. Arizona
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. MARKOVICH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
personal injury action involves a dispute between the
Plaintiff, Blake Haines, and the Defendant companies: Get
Air, LLC, Quality Foam & Fiber Products, Inc., and
Pacific Urethanes, LLC. Haines was injured while performing a
flip at Get Air Tucson, an indoor trampoline park, and is now
a quadriplegic. Haines alleges Defendant Get Air, LLC
produced a defective Employee Handbook (“EH”)
used by Get Air Tucson. Haines further alleges that Defendant
Pacific Urethanes, LLC manufactured defective foam that
Defendant Quality Foam & Fiber Products, Inc. defectively
cut into blocks, which were used at Get Air Tucson.
Haines' claims against the Defendant companies are based
on negligence, products liability, and implied warranties.
before the Court is Defendant Get Air, LLC's Motion to
Dismiss. (Doc. 97). Get Air, LLC alleges that this Court
lacks personal jurisdiction over it because Get Air, LLC has
not engaged in any business in Arizona and because there are
no facts supporting general or specific personal jurisdiction
over it. Plaintiff contends that he has made a prima facie
showing that the defective EH used by Get Air Tucson was
created and supplied by Get Air, LLC and therefore Get Air,
LLC purposefully directed its conduct at Arizona. (Doc. 102
at 14). Alternatively, Plaintiff argues that there remains a
factual dispute regarding personal jurisdiction which must be
resolved in his favor. Id. at 16.
to the Rules of Practice of this Court, this matter was
referred to the undersigned for a Report and Recommendation.
motion has been fully briefed by the parties, and the Court
heard oral arguments on June 6, 2016. The Court then allowed
the parties additional time to conduct jurisdictional
discovery, and the parties submitted supplemental briefs on
January 17, 2017. (Docs. 154, 155). For the reasons stated
below, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the District
Court enter an ordering denying Get Air, LLC's Motion to
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
September 8, 2013 Haines was at the Get Air Tucson indoor
trampoline park and performed a move where he flipped
multiple times off of a platform and into a foam pit. (Doc.
12 at 9). Haines “suffered catastrophic injuries from
the maneuver, including fractured cervical vertebrae
resulting in paralysis.” Id. Following this
incident, Haines filed suit in Pima County Superior Court on
September 5, 2014 against the following defendants: Get Air
Tucson, Inc.; Get Air Tucson Trampolines, LLC; Get Air
Management, Inc.; Get Air, LLC; Trampoline Parks, LLC; Patti
Goodell; Jacob Goodell; Kiersten Goodell; Scott Goodell; Alan
McEwan Jr.; Val Iverson, individually and as owner or
operator of Trampoline Parks, LLC; Jane and/or John Does #s
1-20; ABC Corporations 1-10; XYZ Partnerships 1-10; and ABC
Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) 1-10. (Doc. 6 Ex. 1).
Haines alleged claims for negligence, negligent design,
negligence in safety standards, negligent supervision,
negligent hiring and training of personnel, piercing the
corporate veil, and punitive damages. Id.
January 5, 2015, Defendant Get Air Tucson Trampolines, LLC
removed the case to this Court, alleging all parties were
diverse and the amount in controversy exceeded $75, 000.00.
(Doc. 1 at 1-2). Get Air Tucson Trampolines, LLC stated its
removal was timely because it was served on December 6, 2014
and 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b) requires removal within 30 days
of service. Id. at 2-3. Get Air Tucson Trampolines,
LLC did not indicate whether any of the other defendants
joined or consented to the removal.
January 13, 2015, Haines filed a Notice of Filing Amended
Pleading Pursuant to LRCiv 15.1(b), averring that no
defendant had filed an answer to his original Complaint.
(Doc. 8). Haines' First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”) named Alicia Durfee and Scott Hansen as
additional defendants, and alleged Durfee was a manager or
supervisor at Get Air Tucson, and Hansen was an employee who
was acting as a de facto manager at the time of Haines'
injury. (Doc. 12 at 5-6).
January 23, 2015, Haines filed a Motion to Remand to State
Court. (Doc. 17). Haines alleged two arguments in his motion:
One, the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction
because there was not complete diversity among the parties,
and two, removal was procedurally improper because the
removing party did not establish unanimity among all served
defendants for removal. Id. at 1-2. Get Air Tucson
Trampolines, LLC and the Goodell, Durfee, and Hansen
defendants counter argued that Haines' addition of Hansen
and Durfee as parties was a “thinly veiled attempt to
avoid federal jurisdiction.” (Doc. 19 at 1).
oral arguments on the Motion to Remand, the Court granted the
Motion on April 15, 2015 and remanded this matter back to
Pima County Superior Court. (Doc. 31). The Court concluded
that the case was improperly removed to federal court because
all properly served defendants had failed to join or consent
to the removal, and because Haines properly added Hansen and
Durfee as defendants in his FAC, which destroyed the
Court's diversity jurisdiction.
remand, the Plaintiff and several defendants entered into a
settlement agreement. The Superior Court then dismissed the
defendants who were parties to the settlement agreement,
leaving two remaining defendants: Get Air, LLC and Quality
Foam & Fiber Products, Inc. (Doc. 32 Ex. 3).
12, 2015 Defendant Get Air, LLC removed the case to this
Court, alleging that all parties are diverse due to the
Superior Court's dismissal of the non-diverse defendants,
and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00. (Doc.
32 at 1-2). Defendant Quality Foam & Fiber Products, Inc.
filed a notice consenting to and joining in the notice of
removal. (Doc. 35). On July 2, 2015, the Court issued an
order directing the Clerk to reopen the case and to recognize
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”)
(filed in Superior Court) as the operative complaint in this
matter. (Doc. 39).
30, 2015 Defendant Get Air, LLC filed a Motion to Dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a cause of
action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 and Rule 12(b). (Doc. 43).
On August 25, 2015 Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to
Amend Complaint to add and clarify allegations specific to
Defendant Get Air, LLC, and to add Pacific Urethanes, LLC as
a products liability defendant. (Doc. 45). On February 8,
2016 the District Court entered an Order adopting the
undersigned's Report and Recommendation, granting
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend and denying Get Air,
LLC's Motion to Dismiss as moot. (Doc. 83).
February 8, 2016 Plaintiff filed his Third Amended Complaint
(“TAC”), which names Pacific Urethanes, LLC as an
additional products liability defendant. (Doc. 84). The TAC
also alleges that Get Air, LLC developed defective safety
rules and supplied them to Get Air Tucson.
March 1, 2016, Defendant Get Air, LLC filed a Motion to
Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that it
has not engaged in any business in Arizona, and that there
are no facts supporting general or specific personal
jurisdiction over it. (Doc. 97).Get Air, LLC specifically
argues that the EH used by Get Air Tucson was created by Amy
Iverson, an independent contractor for Trampoline Parks, LLC,
and that Get Air, LLC had no knowledge or intent that the EH
would be distributed to or utilized by Get Air Tucson.
Plaintiff contends that Amy Iverson received the assignment
to review and edit the EH from Get Air, LLC, and that the EH
was knowingly provided by Get Air, LLC to Jacob Goodell to
take to Tucson. (Doc. 154 at 5).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
establish a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction, the
plaintiff must show that: (1) the forum state's long-arm
statute confers jurisdiction over the nonresident defendant;
and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction comports with principles
of due process. Omeluk v. Langsten Slip & Batbyggeri
A/S, 52 F.3d 267, 269 (9th Cir. 1995). The Arizona
long-arm jurisdictional statute provides that this Court
“may exercise personal jurisdiction over parties,
whether found within or outside this state, to the maximum
extent permitted by the Constitution of this state and the
Constitution of the United States.” Ariz. R. Civ. P.
4.2(a). “Because the [state] Constitution imposes no
greater restriction than does the U.S. Constitution, federal
courts in [Arizona] may exercise jurisdiction to the fullest
extent permitted by due process.” Scott v.
Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986) (citing
Data Disc, Inc. v. Sys. Tech. Assocs., 557 F.2d
1280, 1285 (9th Cir. 1997)). Thus, the due process analysis
under Arizona state law and federal law is the same.
process requires that a nonresident defendant have sufficient
“minimum contacts” with the forum state such that
the exercise of jurisdiction “does not offend
traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.” Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington,
326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (internal quotations and citation
omitted). “The party seeking to invoke the court's
jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that
jurisdiction exists.” Scott, 792 F.2d at 927
(citing Data Disc, Inc., 557 F.2d at 1285). Analysis
of whether the Court has specific jurisdiction over the
nonresident defendant requires a three-pronged test:
(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct [its]
activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or
resident thereof; or perform some act by which [it]
purposefully avails [itself] of the privilege of conducting
activities in the forum, thereby invoking the benefits and
protections of its laws; (2) the claim must be one which
arises out of or relates to the defendant's forum related
activities; and (3) the ...