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Blakeney v. Faros Pittsburgh, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 26, 2015

CHIE BLAKENEY and THEODORE BLAKENEY, Plaintiffs,
v.
FAROS PITTSBURGH, L.L.C., AGPM, L.L.C. and AGPM PENNSYLVANIA, L.L.C., Defendants.

ORDER

CATHY BISSOON, District Judge.

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23) will be granted regarding Defendant AGPM, L.L.C., but denied regarding AGPM Pennsylvania, L.L.C.[1]

AGPM Pennsylvania's personal-jurisdiction challenge is founded on its having ceased ownership and operation of the apartment building in which Plaintiff was injured by no later than November 15, 2012. See, e.g., AGPM Pa.'s Br. (Doc. 24) at 5. Plaintiff was injured on January 4, 2013, i.e., less than two months later.

Defendant posits that, because it ceased ties with Pennsylvania less than two month before the accident, there can be no personal jurisdiction. Defendant cites no legal authority in support of this proposition, and, unsurprising, it is contrary to the law. See, e.g., Totilo v. Herbert, 538 F.Supp.2d 638, 640 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 5, 2008) (even though defendants no longer resided in forum, Due Process clause "plainly would not be offended by subjecting [them] to in personam jurisdiction in the state in which they allegedly ran [operations] and committed the wrongs alleged in [the] complaint"); cf. also generally GM Corp. v. Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, 948 F.Supp. 656, 667 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 26, 1996) ("the purpose of the law on personal jurisdiction and due process is to ensure that a court's exercise of jurisdiction over an individual comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice, ... not to permit a wrongdoer[s] to flee from a court's adjudication of [their] wrongs") (citing and quoting International Shoe ).

As to Defendant's remaining arguments regarding duty, [2] these are particularly ill-suited for resolution under Rule 12(b)(6). Plaintiffs' allegations against Faros, on one hand, and AGPM Pennsylvania, on the other, are both straightforward and typical: one of these Defendants, it matters not to Plaintiff, negligently maintained the air conditioning unit whose cover landed on her head. See generally Am. Compl. (Doc. 14). Most likely, these Defendants' theories will include the pointing of fingers at one another, and it would be both unprecedented and contrary to the interests of justice to hamstring Plaintiffs by releasing one of the potential tortfeasors at this stage. Defendant's arguments regarding duty, therefore, are denied without prejudice to renewal on summary judgment.[3]

For all of these reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23) is GRANTED regarding AGPM, L.L.C., but otherwise DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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