United States District Court, D. Hawaii
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY INSURANCE COMPANY, as subrogee of Duane and Kelly Roberts, Plaintiff,
DUROFIX, INC., Defendant. DUROFIX, INC., Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff,
E-ONE MOLI ENERGY CORP., Third-Party Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING SPECIALLY APPEARING THIRD-PARTY
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
Appearing Third-Party Defendant E-One Moli Energy Corp.
(“E-One”) filed its Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Personal Jurisdiction (“Motion”) on January 25,
2018. [Dkt. No. 115.] Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff
Durofix, Inc. (“Durofix”) filed its memorandum in
opposition on February 12, 2018, and E-One filed its reply on
February 16, 2018. [Dkt. nos. 122, 123.] This matter came on
for hearing on March 5, 2018. On March 27, 2018, an entering
order was issued ruling on the Motion. [Dkt. no. 132.] The
instant Order supersedes that ruling. E-One's Motion is
hereby granted for the reasons set forth below.
March 11, 2016, Plaintiff Commerce and Industry Insurance Co.
(“Commerce and Industry”), as subrogee of Duane
and Kelly Roberts (“Insureds”), filed its
Complaint. [Dkt. no. 1.] On January 12, 2018, Commerce and
Industry filed its First Amended Complaint, which alleges a
Durofix LED outlet light, Model No. RL435, caused a fire on
March 14, 2014, which damaged the Insureds' home in
Kihei, Hawai`i (“Subject Light” and, generally
“RL435 LED Lights”). [Dkt. no. 109 at
¶¶ 8-12.] According to Durofix, the Subject Light
“was designed, manufactured and/or sold by others,
including” Defendants Regitar USA, Inc.
(“Regitar”), Mobiletron Electronic Co., Ltd.
(“Mobiletron”), and Mobiletron Electronics
(Ningbo) Co., Ltd. (“Mobiletron Ningbo”).
[Id. at ¶ 14.] The fire caused damage requiring
Commerce and Industry to pay $1, 385, 329.84 to the Insureds.
[Id. at ¶ 16.] As a result, Commerce and
Industry has become subrogated to the Insureds' rights
against the at-fault parties. [Id. at ¶ 17.]
January 17, 2017, the magistrate judge granted Durofix leave
to file a third-party complaint. [Minutes, dkt. No. 47.] On
January 20, 23, and 25, 2017, respectively, Durofix filed its
Third-Party Complaint, First Amended Third-Party Complaint,
and Second Amended Third-Party Complaint against E-One. [Dkt.
nos. 54, 56, 59.] According to the Second Amended Third-Party
Complaint, E-One “manufactured, supplied, distributed,
and/or sold the battery” which caused the Subject Light
to catch fire. [Dkt. no. 59 at ¶ 3.] Durofix demands
contribution or indemnity from E-One for any judgment arising
from Commerce and Industry's Complaint. [Id. at
¶¶ 6-7.] According to Durofix, the RL435 LED Lights
were manufactured by Mobiletron, a Taiwan corporation. In
March 2009, Mobiletron purchased 300, 000 lithium-ion
batteries from E-One to manufacture the RL435 LED Lights.
[Mem. in Opp., Decl. of Chad P. Love (“Love
Decl.”), Exh. 5 (Decl. of Isaac Shih (“Shih
Decl.”)) at ¶¶ 3-4. Mobiletron distributed the
RL435 LED Lights to Costco Wholesale (“Costco”)
in Washington and Alabama. Costco distributed the RL435 LED
Lights to its retail stores in Hawai`i and sold the RL435 LED
Lights to Hawai`i consumers. [Id. at ¶ 24.]
instant Motion, E-One argues the Second Amended Third-Party
Complaint must be dismissed for lack of personal
jurisdiction. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). E-One states it is a
corporation formed under the laws of Taiwan. Its corporate
headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located
exclusively in Taiwan. E-One contends it has no contacts with
Hawai`i, and specifically states that, in Hawai`i, it has
never: manufactured products; sold or distributed any
products; had employees; been licensed to do business; had an
agent for service of process; paid taxes; had a business
address or telephone number; owned or leased any real
property; had a bank account; or consented to, or waived,
personal jurisdiction. [Motion, Decl. of Yin-Chang Hsiao
(“Hsiao Decl.”) at ¶¶
12(b)(2) allows a defendant to assert the defense of lack of
personal jurisdiction by motion. This Court has stated:
A plaintiff has the burden of establishing personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant. See Love v.
Associated Newspapers, Ltd., 611 F.3d 601, 608 (9th Cir.
2010); Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374
F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004). A plaintiff must establish
personal jurisdiction over a defendant with respect to each
claim. Action Embroidery Corp. v. Atl. Embroidery,
Inc., 368 F.3d 1174, 1180 (9th Cir. 2004)
(“Personal jurisdiction must exist for each claim
asserted against a defendant.” (citing Data Disc,
Inc. v. Sys. Tech. Assocs., Inc., 557 F.2d 1280, 1289
n.8 (9th Cir. 1977)).
When, as here, a district court acts on a motion to dismiss
without holding an evidentiary hearing, a plaintiff need only
make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts to
withstand the motion to dismiss. Love, 611 F.3d at 608;
Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800. Although a plaintiff may not
simply rest on the bare allegations of the complaint,
uncontroverted allegations in the complaint must be taken as
true, and conflicts between parties over statements contained
in affidavits or declarations must be resolved in the
plaintiff's favor. See Love, 611 F.3d at 608;
Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800.
Barranco v. 3D Sys. Corp., 6 F.Supp.3d 1068, 1076
(D. Hawai`i 2014) (citation omitted).
addressing the merits of the Motion, the Court addresses the
filing of other relevant pleadings. On January 4, 2018,
Commerce and Industry was granted leave to file an amended
complaint adding Regitar, Mobiletron, and Mobiletron Ningbo
as defendants, and on January 12, 2018, filed its First
Amended Complaint. [Dkt. nos. 108, 109.] On February 2, 2018,
a week after E-One had filed the instant Motion, Durofix
filed its answer to the First Amended Complaint, and its
Third-Party Complaint Against E-One Moli Energy Corp.
(“2/2/18 Third-Party Complaint”). [Dkt. nos. 117,