United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE ROSEMARY MARQUEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Ascension Health's Motion
to Dismiss. (Doc. 72). The Motion is fully briefed. (Docs.
83, 88.) For the following reasons, the Motion will be
August 5, 2015, Plaintiff Carol Harter filed a Complaint
against Carondelet Health Network d/b/a St. Joseph's
Medical Hospital and Carondelet Neurological Institute, an
Arizona corporation (“Carondelet Health
Network”). (Doc. 1.) Harter alleged various
discrimination claims arising from visits to St. Joseph's
Hospital and Carondelet Neurological Institute
(“CNI”) in August 2013, where Harter avers she
received inadequate accommodations for her disability.
(See Id. at 16-23.)
March 15, 2016, Harter and Carondelet Health Network
stipulated to the filing of the First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”), which added Plaintiffs Gerald Brown and
Leticia Moran. (Docs. 13, 15.) Brown and Moran alleged the
same discrimination claims as Harter, based on their visit to
St. Mary's Hospital in November 2015 where they allege
Brown received inadequate accommodations for his disability.
(See Doc. 15 at 24-31.) To reflect the addition of
Brown and Moran's claims, the case caption was amended to
identify the defendant as Carondelet Health Network d/b/a St.
Joseph's Medical Hospital, Carondelet Neurological
Institute, and St. Mary's Hospital, an Arizona
corporation. (See Id. at 1.)
Health Network filed its Amended Answer to the FAC on June
15, 2016. (Doc. 30.) Carondelet Health Network admitted doing
business as St. Joseph's Hospital, CNI, and St.
Mary's Hospital in August 2013 (when Harter was treated),
but denied doing business as St. Mary's Hospital in
November 2015 (when Brown was treated). (Id. ¶
12.) Carondelet Health Network affirmatively alleged that
SMSJ Tucson Holdings, LLC operated St. Mary's Hospital in
November 2015 and currently operates all three medical
facilities at issue in this case. (Id.)
1, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to File Second
Amended Complaint. (Doc. 45.) The motion sought to add Dennis
and Julie Lotz as plaintiffs based on allegations they
received inadequate accommodations for their disabilities
during visits to St. Mary's Hospital in December 2015,
February 2016, July 2016, and September 2016. (See
Doc. 45-1 at 21-32.) Carondelet Health Network opposed the
motion, arguing in part that SMSJ Tucson Holdings, LLC owned
and operated the medical facilities when the Lotzes were
treated in December 2015 and thereafter. (Doc. 49 at 4-5.)
the Court in determining whether the change in ownership
barred Plaintiffs' theory of a policy of discrimination,
Carondelet Health Network was ordered to provide information
regarding the relationship between the entities that held an
ownership interest during the time periods in which
Plaintiffs' claims arose. (Doc. 53.) In response to that
Order, Carondelet Health Network set forth the following
ownership structure: when Harter was treated in August 2013,
the hospitals were owned by Carondelet Health Network. (Doc.
57-1, ¶ 8.) Thereafter, Carondelet Health Network
changed its name to Ascension Arizona. (Id.)
When Brown and the Lotzes began receiving treatment in
November 2015, the hospitals were owned by SMSJ Tucson
Holdings, LLC. (Id. ¶¶ 9- 10.) SMSJ Tucson
Holdings is owned by CHN Holdings, LLC, which is a joint
venture between Ascension Arizona, Tenant Healthcare, and
Dignity Health. (Id. ¶ 9.)
Court rejected the change in ownership as a basis for denying
joinder of the Lotzes because, although now twice removed
from direct ownership, “Ascension Arizona had an
interest in the medical facilities at all times
relevant.” (Doc. 60 at 8.) Finding all other
requirements for leave to amend satisfied, Plaintiffs'
motion was granted and the Second Amended Complaint
(“SAC”) was filed. (Id. at 11; Doc. 69.)
accordance with the caption of Plaintiffs' SAC, the Court
ordered that “Ascension Health d/b/a Carondelet Health
Network, a nonprofit corporation; and SMSJ Tucson Holdings,
LLC, d/b/a Carondelet Health Network, a Delaware limited
liability company” be substituted as Defendants in
place of Ascension Arizona. (Doc. 60 at 11.) Plaintiffs'
voluntary dismissal of Ascension Arizona and naming of
Ascension Health, the foreign parent corporation of Ascension
Arizona, serves as the basis for the pending Motion to
Standard of Review
Motion to Dismiss
plaintiff opposing a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that
jurisdiction exists. Ranza v. Nike, Inc., 793 F.3d
1059, 1068 (9th Cir. 2015) (quoting CollegeSource, Inc.
v. Academy One, Inc., 653 F.3d 1066, 1073 (9th Cir.
2011)). When “the defendant's motion is based on
written materials rather than an evidentiary hearing, the
plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of
jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to
dismiss.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted) (quoting Brayton Purcell LLP v. Recordon &
Recordon, 606 F.3d 1124, 1127 (9th Cir. 2010)). “A
plaintiff may not simply rest on the ‘bare allegations
of [the] complaint.'” Id. (quoting
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d
797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004)). Uncontroverted allegations are
taken as true, and factual disputes are resolved in the
plaintiff's favor. Id. But allegations that are
controverted by affidavit are not presumed true. Mavrix
Photo, Inc. v. Brand Techs., Inc., 647 F.3d 1218, 1223
(9th Cir. 2011).
Principles of Personal Jurisdiction
process requires that federal courts obtain personal
jurisdiction over the parties before adjudicating those
parties' rights. Ins. Corp. of Ireland, Ltd. v.
Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 701-02
(1982). Federal courts may exercise personal jurisdiction if
(1) the forum State's long-arm statute is satisfied, and
(2) the exercise of jurisdiction would comport with the
constitutional requirement of due process. Lee v. City of
Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 692 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Omeluk v. Langsten Slip & Batbyggeri A/S, 52
F.3d 267, 269 (9th Cir. 1995)). Arizona's long-arm
statute permits jurisdiction to the fullest extent permitted
by the U.S. Constitution. Morrill v. Scott Fin.
Corp., 873 F.3d 1136, 1141 (9th Cir. 2017) (citing Ariz.
R. Civ. P. 4.2(a)). Therefore, the jurisdictional ...