Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Collett v. Olympus Corp.

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Athens Division

April 19, 2019

STEPHEN R. COLLETT and FELICITY COLLETT, Plaintiffs,
v.
OLYMPUS CORPORATION and ADVANCED STERILIZATION PRODUCTS, Defendants.

          ORDER

          CLAY D. LAND CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Presently pending before the Court is Olympus Corporation's motion to dismiss and Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their Complaint. As discussed, the motion to dismiss (ECF No. 32) is granted, and Plaintiffs' claims against Olympus Corporation are dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend (ECF No. 41) is granted to the extent set forth in this Order.

         I. Motion to Dismiss

         Olympus Corporation is a Japanese corporation headquartered in Japan. Olympus Corporation seeks dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims against it based on lack of personal jurisdiction. As a preliminary matter, Plaintiffs argue that the motion to dismiss is moot because their Second Amended Complaint superseded the First Amended Complaint. But, as discussed in more detail infra § II, Plaintiffs did not receive leave of the Court or consent of the Defendants before filing their Second Amended Complaint, so it is not the operative Complaint.

         In this diversity case, the Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant only if (1) jurisdiction is appropriate under the long-arm statute of Georgia (the state where the Court sits) and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction does not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc. v. Food Movers Int'l, Inc., 593 F.3d 1249, 1257-58 (11th Cir. 2010). “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.” Id. at 1257 (quoting United Techs. Corp. v. Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260, 1274 (11th Cir. 2009)). “Where, as here, the defendant challenges jurisdiction by submitting affidavit evidence in support of its position, ‘the burden traditionally shifts back to the plaintiff to produce evidence supporting jurisdiction.'” Id. (quoting Mazer, 556 F.3d at 1274). “Where 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. (quoting Meier ex rel. Meier v. Sun Int'l Hotels, Ltd., 288 F.3d 1264, 1269 (11th Cir. 2002)).

         Under Georgia's long-arm statute, Georgia courts may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if the defendant, “in person or through an agent”:

(1) Transacts any business within this state;
(2) Commits a tortious act or omission within this state, except as to a cause of action for defamation of character arising from the act; [or]
(3) Commits a tortious injury in this state caused by an act or omission outside this state if the tort-feasor regularly does or solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or services rendered in this state[.]

O.C.G.A. § 9-10-91.

         In their First Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs summarily allege that Olympus Corporation “transacts business within [Georgia], has committed a tortious act or omission within this state, and/or has committed a tortious injury in this state caused by an act or omission outside of this state.” 1st Am. Compl. ¶ 7, ECF No. 11; accord Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 10, ECF No. 40 (same). Plaintiffs further allege that Olympus Corporation “regularly does and solicits business, and engages in other persistent courses of conduct, and derives substantial revenue from services rendered in the State of Georgia.” 1st Am. Compl. ¶ 8. Plaintiffs' claims are based in part on alleged defects in a colonoscope that Plaintiffs allege was “designed, manufactured and sold as new by Olympus [Corporation].” Id. ¶ 19; Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 22 (alleging that the colonoscope was designed, manufactured, and sold by “Olympus, ” which includes Olympus Corporation, Olympus Medical Systems Corporation, and Olympus America Inc.).

         In response, Olympus Corporation submitted an affidavit that states, in relevant part:

* A separate and distinct entity called Olympus Medical Systems Corporation designed and manufactured the colonoscope at issue in this action.
* Olympus Corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity from the other ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.