United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. Leichty Judge, United States District Court
Marlene Evans filed this product liability action over
allegedly defective orthopedic hip devices implanted in Mr.
Evans' left hip during his 2013 total hip arthroplasty.
The Evans claim that Wright Medical Technology (WMT), Wright
Medical Group, Inc. (WMG), and Wright Medical Group, N.V.
(WMGNV) designed, marketed, sold, or distributed the
PROFEMUR® hip implant devices that caused Mr.
Evans' injury. WMT admits its involvement (ECF 8-1 ¶
19), while WMG and WMGNV deny any part in the design,
marketing, sales, or distribution of these devices. WMG and
WMGNV filed motions to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2)
for lack of personal jurisdiction, and this case was
thereafter reassigned to this presiding judge.
WMGNV, and WMT are all separate entities. ECF 1 ¶¶
3-6; ECF 8-1. WMG is the parent holding company and only
shareholder of WMT. ECF 8-1. WMGNV is a foreign corporation
that formed in 2015 after a merger between Tornier, N.V. and
WMG. Id. After the merger, WMG remained a separate
entity from WMT and WMGNV, and WMG continues to operate as
the holding company of WMT. Id. The only difference
is that, after the 2015 merger, WMG became an indirect
subsidiary of WMGNV.
has several additional indirect subsidiaries, including
Tornier, Inc.-not to be confused with Tornier, N.V.-which
leased a facility in Warsaw, Indiana. Id. After
Tornier, Inc.'s initial lease ended, it moved its
operations to Columbia City, Indiana, where Tornier,
Inc.'s current products are manufactured. ECF 13-1
¶¶ 5, 8.
WMT are Delaware corporations with their principal places of
business in Tennessee. ECF 1. WMGNV is a foreign
corporation from the Netherlands with its principal place of
business in Tennessee. ECF 10-1.
WMGNV submitted three affidavits from Debby Daurer, WMT's
Senior Manager of Legal. ECF 8-1, 10-1, and 13-1. In these
affidavits, Ms. Daurer maintains WMT's corporate
separateness from WMG and WMGNV. Id. Both WMG and
WMGNV deny any involvement in designing, developing,
manufacturing, selling, or distributing the hip implants at
addition, regarding the facilities located in Indiana, Ms.
Daurer says the Warsaw location was leased to Tornier, Inc.
Id. The Evans do not dispute this, as they admit the
same in their complaint. ECF 1 ¶ 13. Ms. Daurer asserts
that Tornier, Inc. no longer leases the Warsaw location and
has moved their operations to Columbia City (ECF 13-1), the
location of the second facility the Evans claim belongs to
WMG and/or WMGNV (ECF 12 at 6-7).
Evans argue that WMG and WMGNV are subject to this
court's jurisdiction because of two facilities located in
Indiana-one in Warsaw, Indiana and the other in Columbia
City, Indiana- that allegedly were or are currently operated
by WMG and/or WMGNV. ECF 12 at 21. In addition, the Evans
claim that WMG and WMGNV are the owners and designers of the
hip implants at issue. Id. To prove these
allegations, the Evans rely on press releases, Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and information on public
websites. ECF 12-2 to 12-25.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2), the plaintiff bears the burden of
demonstrating jurisdiction. Purdue Research Found. v.
Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d 773, 782 (7th Cir.
2003). A party may submit, and a court may consider,
materials outside the pleadings in determining jurisdiction.
Id. The court may weigh affidavits, exhibits, or
other evidence submitted by the parties, but the court must
construe all facts concerning jurisdiction in the
non-movant's favor. See id.; Charlesworth v. Marco
Mfg. Co., 878 F.Supp. 1196, 1199 (N.D. Ind. 1995). When
a district court rules on a defendant's motion to dismiss
based only on the submission of written materials, the
plaintiff need only establish a prima facie case of
personal jurisdiction. Purdue, 338 F.3d at 782.
court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant to the same
extent a state court in Indiana could exercise personal
jurisdiction over that defendant. Advanced Tactical
Ordnance Sys., LLC v. Real Action Paintball, Inc., 751
F.3d 796, 800 (7th Cir. 2014). The court need not tarry on
analyzing the reach of Indiana's longarm statute because
it extends to the limits of federal due process. See
id.; LinkAmerica Corp. v. Cox, 857 N.E.2d 961,
967 (Ind. 2006) (“Indiana's long-arm provision now
extends to the limits of the Constitution.”). Instead,
the court can proceed directly to the due process analysis.
Mobile Anesthesiologists Chi., LLC v. Anesthesia
Associates of Houston Metroplex, P.A., 623 F.3d 440, 443
(7th Cir. 2010). The court must determine whether exercising
jurisdiction over WMG and WMGNV comports constitutionally
with the limits of due process. Advanced Tactical,
751 F.3d at 800 (citing Walden v. Fiore, 134 S.Ct.
1115, 1121 (2014)).
federal due process analysis, a defendant is subject to
personal jurisdiction in a state only if the defendant had
minimum contacts with the forum such that subjecting the
defendant to suit does not offend “traditional notions
of fair play and substantial justice.”
International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310,
316 (1945). Since the seminal decision in International
Shoe, two types of personal jurisdiction have developed:
“general” (sometimes called
“all-purpose”) jurisdiction and
“specific” (sometimes called
“case-linked”) jurisdiction. Bristol-Myers
Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1780
(2017) (citing Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v.
Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919 (2011). The court addresses
these two types of jurisdiction in turn.
jurisdiction over a defendant arises when a defendant
“purposefully avails itself of the privilege of
conducting activities with the forum state, thus invoking the
benefits and protections of its laws.” Hanson v.
Denckla,357 U.S. 235, 253 (1958). Specific jurisdiction
is not based on the plaintiff's contacts with the forum
state, but instead focuses on the defendant's contacts
with the forum state. Advanced Tactical, 751 F.3d at
801. Additionally, for a court to exercise specific
jurisdiction, the suit must arise out of the defendant's
forum-related activity. Id. If the plaintiff fails
to link the defendant's contacts with the forum state to
the cause of action, specific jurisdiction is not proper.