United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
KEVIN L. BAIRD, Plaintiff,
OTGONBAATAR SHAGDARSUREN & DBN CARRIER, INC., Defendants, ALLIED PREMIER INSURANCE & R&Q SOLUTIONS, LLC, Third-Party Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Third-Party Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Doc. 82). For the reasons
that follow, the Court GRANTS the motion and
DISMISSES without prejudice all claims
against Third-Party Defendants Allied Premier Insurance and
R&Q Solutions, LLC.
dispute concerns insurance coverage for an automobile
accident. See Doc. 73, DBN Carrier, Inc.'s First
Am. Compl., ¶¶ 4.1-4.4. Plaintiff in the underlying
lawsuit, Kevin Baird, collided with Defendant Otgonbaatar
Shagdarsuren, who was hauling a trailer for Defendant DBN
Carrier, Inc. Id. ¶¶ 4.1, 4.3. This
collision occurred in Dallas County, Texas. Id.
¶ 4.1. At the time of the accident, Defendant DBN had an
automobile insurance policy from Third-Party Defendant Allied
Premier Insurance. Id. ¶ 4.2. This policy, DBN
alleges, covers “all vehicles used by DBN in conducting
any service for which a motor carrier permit is required
whether or not the vehicle was listed in the insurance
policy.” Id. ¶ 4.2. Accordingly, when
Plaintiff Baird sued Defendants Shagdarsuren and DBN after
the accident, DBN gave Allied notice of the lawsuit.
Id. ¶ 4.4.
Allied denied coverage, leading DBN to name Allied a
Third-Party Defendant in the lawsuit,  seeking a
declaratory judgment regarding the policy's coverage for
the accident. Id. ¶¶
4.4-5.4. Specifically, Defendant DBN seeks a
declaratory judgment that: (1) Defendant Shagdarsuren's
vehicle was entitled to primary coverage under the insurance
policy; (2) DBN is entitled to indemnity from Allied under
the policy; and (3) Allied is obligated to defend DBN in the
underlying lawsuit. Id. ¶¶ 5.2, 5.3. In
response, Allied filed a motion to dismiss, contending that
this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Allied. Doc. 82,
Third-Party Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, 1. DBN thereafter
responded (Doc. 85), and Allied replied (Doc. 87). Thus, this
motion is now ripe for review.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) allows for the dismissal of
an action in which the court lacks personal jurisdiction over
the defendant. A federal court may assert jurisdiction over a
nonresident defendant in a diversity suit if the state's
long-arm statute applies and due process is satisfied under
the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Cycles, Ltd. v. W.J. Digby, Inc., 889 F.2d 612, 616
(5th Cir. 1989). Texas courts have interpreted the Texas
long-arm statute as “extending to the limits of due
process.” Bullion v. Gillespie, 895 F.2d 213,
215 (5th Cir.1990). Accordingly, to determine whether it may
assert jurisdiction under the Texas long-arm statute, a
federal court must determine whether jurisdiction comports
with federal constitutional guarantees of due process.
Id. at 216.
due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as
interpreted by the Supreme Court, permits the exercise of
personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant when (1)
that defendant has established ‘minimum contacts'
with the forum state; and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction
over that defendant does not offend ‘traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.'”
Ruston Gas Turbines, Inc. v. Donaldson Co., Inc., 9
F.3d 415, 418 (5th Cir. 1993) (quoting Int'l Shoe Co.
v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). “Both
prongs of the due process test must be met” for the
Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant.
nonresident defendant's minimum contacts may either
support an assertion of “specific” or
“general” jurisdiction. WNS Inc. v.
Farrow, 884 F.2d 200, 202 (5th Cir.1989). A court may
exercise “specific” jurisdiction when a cause of
action arises out of a defendant's purposeful contacts
with the forum. Dalton v. R & W Marine, Inc.,
897 F.2d 1359, 1361-62 (5th Cir.1990). Alternatively, a court
is said to have “general jurisdiction” when a
defendant has engaged in continuous and systematic contacts
with the forum. Id.
party seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction bears the burden
of establishing the requisite minimum contacts. WNS,
884 F.2d at 203. Further, “uncontroverted allegations
in the plaintiff's complaint must be taken as true, and
conflicts between the facts contained in the parties'
affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor for
purposes of determining whether a prima facie case
for personal jurisdiction exists.” D.J. Invs.,
754 F.2d at 546 (citations omitted).
Specific Personal Jurisdiction over Allied
claims that it is not subject to specific jurisdiction,
pointing out that its “only tie to Texas is the
fortuitous result that a driver for DBN was involved in an
automobile accident while driving through Dallas County,
Texas.” Doc. 82, Third-Party Defs.' Mot. to
Dismiss, 2, 7. To support this contention, Allied points to
other federal district courts that “have declined to
exercise specific personal jurisdiction over nonresident
defendants in similar situations.” Id. at 8-9
(citing Air Tropiques, Sprl v. N. & W. Ins. Co.,
2014 WL 1323046 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 31, 2014) and Satterfield
v. Gov. Emps. Ins. Co., 287 F.Supp.3d 1285 (W.D. Okla.
Allied directs the Court to cases “involving a
nonresident entity with comparable or more substantial
jurisdictional ties to the forum” in which the Fifth
Circuit has found no specific jurisdiction over the entity.
Id. at 9 (citing Perez v. Pan. Am. Life Ins.
Co., 1996 WL 511748 (5th Cir. 1996) (unpublished);
Choice Healthcare, Inc. v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan of
Colo., 615 F.3d 364 (5th Cir. 2010); Freudensprung
v. Offshore Tech. Servs., Inc., 379 F.3d 327 (5th Cir.
2004)). Specifically, Allied notes that in Perez,
the Fifth Circuit found no personal jurisdiction where the
defendant-insurer's only potential contacts with Texas,
the forum state, were “the worldwide coverage language