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Krier v. Bartram's Equipment Sales & Service

United States District Court, D. Kansas

July 7, 2014

PETER KRIER, Plaintiff,
v.
BARTRAM'S EQUIPMENT SALES & SERVICE, et al., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MONTI L. BELOT, District Judge.

This case comes before the court on the following motions:

1) Defendants Bernard Krone Holding's (BKH) and Maschinefabrik Bernard Krones' (MBK) amended motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction (Doc. 8), plaintiff's response (Doc. 20) and defendants' reply (Doc. 24);

2) Defendant Krone NA's (Krone) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction (Doc. 13), plaintiff's response (Doc. 19) and Krone's reply (Doc. 26); and

3) Defendants Bartram's and Krone's motion to dismiss (Doc. 14), plaintiff's response (Doc. 18) and defendants' reply (Doc. 23).[1]

I. Facts and Procedural History

Defendants BKH and MBK are both located in Germany. BKH is the holding company for MBK. BKH and MBK have their principal place of business in Spelle, Germany, and do not have any offices, agents, employees or property in Kansas. MBK manufactures farming equipment. The subject of this suit is a 2010 Krone Big M 400 Swather ("Swather"). MBK manufactured the Swather and delivered the Swather to Krone in Texas.

Krone is a distributer for MBK and has its principal place of business in Tennessee. Krone delivered the Swather to a dealership in Oklahoma and it was sold to an unknown party. Later, the unknown party sold the Swather to defendant Bartram's in Texas.

Plaintiff Peter Krier purchased the Swather from Bartram's Texas dealership on or about December 8, 2011. Bartram's delivered the Swather to plaintiff's Kansas residence on or about January 6, 2012. Approximately eight days later, the Swather caught fire while plaintiff was operating it. Plaintiff jumped off the Swather and incurred injuries to his teeth in the fall.

Plaintiff filed this action against defendants alleging negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation and violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. Krone and the German defendants move for dismissal on the basis that this court lacks personal jurisdiction. Additionally, defendants move for dismissal of all but the KCPA claim on the basis that the claims are barred by the doctrine of economic loss.

II. Analysis

A. Rule 12(b)(2) Motions to Dismiss

BKH, MBK and Krone move to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). On a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss, plaintiff must make a prima facie showing that the court has personal jurisdiction over defendants. See Intercon, Inc. v. Bell Atl. Internet Solutions, Inc. , 205 F.3d 1244, 1247 (10th Cir. 2000). The court must accept plaintiff's allegations as true and resolve all factual disputes in its favor notwithstanding contrary positions by the defendants. Heating and Cooling Master Marketers Network, Inc. v. Contractor Success Group, Inc. , 935 F.Supp. 1167, 1169 (D. Kan. 1996).

"To obtain personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant in a diversity action, a plaintiff must show that jurisdiction is legitimate under the laws of the forum state and that the exercise of jurisdiction does not offend the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." TH Agriculture & Nutrition, LLC v. Ace European Group, Ltd. , 488 F.3d 1282, 1286-87 (10th Cir. 2007). Because the Kansas long-arm statute is construed liberally to allow jurisdiction to the full extent permitted by due process, the court ordinarily proceeds directly to the ...


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