United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Doc. # 13). After
careful consideration, and for the reasons explained below,
the court concludes the motion is due to be granted.
Factual and Procedural Background
case arises out of injuries sustained by Plaintiff Shawn
Stubbs in 2016 when she fell from the deck of a recreational
“camper” vehicle while on vacation in Florida.
(Doc. # 7 at ¶¶ 17-20). Plaintiff sued REV Group,
Inc. and REV Renegade (formerly KIBBI LLC) for her injuries
in federal court in Alabama, claiming the companies
negligently manufactured the camper. (Id. at
¶¶ 27). She also asserted various products
liability and breach of warranty claims against the
companies. (Id. at ¶¶ 21-47). Defendants
moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2); (Doc. # 13). In
response, Plaintiffs requested jurisdictional discovery to
establish Defendants' contacts with Alabama. (Doc. # 17).
The court granted that request. (Doc. # 20). Following the
completion of jurisdictional discovery, Plaintiff renewed her
opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss and filed
documents that she claims establish the existence of personal
jurisdiction over Defendants. (Doc. # 26). Defendants have
also filed evidence in support of their motion to dismiss.
(Doc. # 13-1).
following facts are undisputed for purposes of
Defendants' motion to dismiss. REV Group is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in
Wisconsin. (Doc. # 13-1 at ¶ 3). It is a holding company
and does not design, manufacture, assemble, furnish, sell, or
distribute campers. (Id. at ¶ 4). REV Renegade
is a limited liability company organized in Delaware with its
principal place of business in Indiana. (Doc. # 13-2 at
¶ 3). REV Renegade sells campers through dealers located
around the country. (Docs. # 13 at 3; 28 at 3-4). Plaintiff
purchased her Renegade camper at a dealership in Missouri and
was injured when she fell from the camper's deck while on
vacation in Florida. (Docs. # 7 at ¶¶ 18-19; 26-4
Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), “[a]
plaintiff seeking the exercise of personal jurisdiction over
a nonresident defendant bears the initial burden of alleging
in the complaint sufficient facts to make out a prima facie
case of jurisdiction.” United Techs. Corp. v.
Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260, 1274 (11th Cir. 2009). After the
defendant challenges jurisdiction with affidavit evidence in
support of its position, “the burden traditionally
shifts back to the plaintiff to produce evidence supporting
jurisdiction unless [the defendant's] affidavits contain
only conclusory assertions that the defendant is not subject
to jurisdiction.” Meier ex rel. Meier v.
Sun Int'l Hotels, Ltd., 288 F.3d 1264, 1269 (11th
Cir. 2002). If, however, “the plaintiff's complaint
and supporting evidence conflict with the defendant's
affidavits, the court must construe all reasonable inferences
in favor of the plaintiff.” Id.
federal district court in [Alabama] may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the same extent
that [an Alabama] court may, so long as the exercise is
consistent with federal due process requirements.”
Licciardello v. Lovelady, 544 F.3d 1280, 1283 (11th
Cir. 2008). Under its long-arm statute, “Alabama
permits its courts to exercise jurisdiction over nonresidents
to the fullest extent allowed under the Due Process Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.” Ruiz
de Molina v. Merritt & Furman Ins. Agency, Inc., 207
F.3d 1351, 1355-56 (11th Cir. 2000) (citing Martin v.
Robbins, 628 So.2d 614, 617 (Ala. 1993)); see
also Ala. R. Civ. P. 4.2 (permitting jurisdiction over
nonresident defendants on any basis “not inconsistent
with the constitution of this state or the Constitution of
the United States”). Thus, this court may exercise
personal jurisdiction over a defendant so long as
jurisdiction is consistent with federal due process
Supreme Court has recognized two types of personal
jurisdiction that are consistent with the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause-general jurisdiction and
specific jurisdiction. See Goodyear Dunlop Tires
Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 923-24 (2011).
A defendant subject to general jurisdiction in a forum may be
sued in that forum on any and all claims against it, even if
the claims have no connection to the forum. Id. at
919. By contrast, a court has specific jurisdiction over a
defendant only with respect claims that arise out of or
relate to the defendant's contacts with the forum.
Id. at 923-24. In this case, Plaintiff has
established neither general nor specific jurisdiction over
Plaintiff Has Not Established General Jurisdiction Over
general jurisdiction to exist, the defendant's
“affiliations with the State” must be “so
continuous and systematic as to render [it] essentially at
home in the forum State.” Daimler AG v.
Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 127 (2014) (internal quotation
marks omitted). Thus, individuals are subject to general
jurisdiction in the forum where they are domiciled, and
corporations are subject to general jurisdiction where they
are incorporated and where they have their principal place of
business. Id. at 137. And because “the
reasoning of Daimler applies with equal force”
to LLCs as corporations, LLCs are subject to general
jurisdiction in the state of their formation and where they
have their principal place of business. Finn v. Great
Plains Lending, LLC, No. CV 15-4658, 2016 WL 705242, at
*3 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 23, 2016).
it is undisputed that neither REV Group nor REV Renegade has
their place of formation or principal place of business in
Alabama. (Doc. # 7 at ¶¶ 2-3). Though
Daimler left open the possibility that “in an
exceptional case” a business's “operations in
a forum other than its formal place of incorporation or
principal place of business may be so substantial” as
to support general jurisdiction in that forum, no facts in
this case support such an “exceptional” finding.
Daimler, 571 U.S. at 139 n.19. Accordingly,
Plaintiff has failed to establish general jurisdiction over
Plaintiff Has Not Established Specific ...