United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS
MICHAEL P. SHEA, U.S.D.J.
Siobhan Thompson brings this suit against defendant PF
Chang's China Bistro, Inc. for injuries she allegedly
sustained from a slip and fall at a restaurant owned and
operated by the defendant in Nashville, Tennessee. The
defendant removed the case. Now before me is the
defendant's motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) to dismiss
this case for lack of personal jurisdiction. In particular,
the defendant contends that Connecticut's long arm
statute does not reach the defendant and that the Court's
exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendant would
violate the defendant's due process rights. (ECF No. 11.)
I agree with the latter point and therefore conclude that the
Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Rather
than dismissing the case, however, I exercise my discretion
to transfer it under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) to the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The defendant's motion to dismiss is therefore granted in
part and denied in part.
where otherwise indicated, these facts are taken from the
relevant portions of the complaint.
plaintiff is a resident of the State of Connecticut. (ECF No.
1, Exhibit A (“Complaint”) at ¶ 1.) The
defendant is “a Delaware corporation which operates a
national chain of restaurants, and maintains restaurant
locations, undertakes advertising activities and conducts
business in multiple states, including the States of
Connecticut and Tennessee.” (Id. at ¶ 2.)
The defendant has its principal place of business in Arizona.
(Id. at ¶ 2.) According to the allegations in
the complaint, the plaintiff entered a restaurant owned and
operated by the defendant in Nashville, Tennessee on April
20, 2017. (Id. at ¶ 4.) As she walked into the
restaurant, she slipped on some water that had accumulated on
the floor and fell. (Id. at ¶ 6.) “As a
result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered . . . injuries,
losses and damages . . . .” (Id.) The
plaintiff alleges that the fall occurred “due to the
negligence and carelessness of the defendant . . ., its
servants, agents or employees . . . .” (Id. at
a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under
Rule 12(b)(2), ‘plaintiff bears the burden of showing
that the court has jurisdiction over the
defendant.'” Glenwood Sys., LLC v. Med-Pro
Ideal Sols., Inc., No. 09CV956(WWE), 2010 WL 11527383,
at *2 (D. Conn. May 4, 2010) (quoting In re Magnetic
Audiotape Antitrust Litig., 334 F.3d 204, 206 (2d Cir.
2003)). The plaintiff “need make only a prima
facie showing by its pleadings and affidavits that
jurisdiction exists, ” and “[t]hose documents are
construed in the light most favorable to plaintiff and all
doubts are resolved in [her] favor.” CutCo Indus.,
Inc. v. Naughton, 806 F.2d 361, 365 (2d Cir. 1986).
amenability of a foreign corporation to suit in a federal
court in a diversity action is determined in accordance with
the law of the state where the court sits, with
‘federal law' entering the picture only for the
purpose of deciding whether a [S]tate's assertion of
jurisdiction contravenes a constitutional guarantee.”
Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 84
F.3d 560, 567 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Arrowsmith v.
United Press Int'l, 320 F.2d 219, 223 (2d Cir. 1963
(en banc)). As such, “in resolving questions of
personal jurisdiction in a diversity action, a district court
must conduct a two-part inquiry. First, it must determine
whether the plaintiff has shown that the defendant is
amenable to service of process under the forum state's
laws; and second, it must assess whether the court's
assertion of jurisdiction under these laws comports with the
requirements of due process.” Metro. Life Ins. Co.
v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 84 F.3d 560, 567 (2d Cir.
Existence of Personal Jurisdiction
defendant makes two arguments in its motion to dismiss.
First, it contends that “the applicable Connecticut
long arm statute does not reach the defendant because not one
of its four possible grounds is satisfied.” (ECF No.
11-1 at 1.) Connecticut's long arm statute for claims
against out-of-state corporations provides in relevant part:
(a) The registered agent of a foreign corporation authorized
to transact business in this state is the corporation's
agent for service of process, notice or demand required or
permitted by law to be served on the foreign corporation.
When the registered agent is other than the Secretary of the
State and his successors in office, service may be effected
by any proper officer or other person lawfully empowered to
make service by leaving a true and attested copy of the
process, notice or demand with such agent or, in the case of
an agent who is a natural person, by leaving it at such
agent's usual place of abode in this state.
. . . .
(f) Every foreign corporation shall be subject to suit in
this state, by a resident of this state or by a person having
a usual place of business in this state, whether or not such
foreign corporation is transacting or has transacted business
in this state and whether or not it is engaged exclusively in
interstate or foreign commerce, on any cause of action
arising as follows: (1) Out of any contract made in this
state or to be performed in this state; (2) out of any
business solicited in this state by mail or otherwise if the
corporation has repeatedly so solicited business, whether the
orders or offers relating thereto were accepted within or
without the state; (3) out of the production, manufacture or
distribution of goods by such corporation with the reasonable
expectation that such goods are to be used or consumed in
this state and are so used or consumed, regardless of how or
where the goods were produced, manufactured, marketed or sold