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.

FOGLE v. RAMSEY WINCH CO.

September 19, 1991

Lakie Ray Fogle, Jr., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Ramsey Winch Co., Inc., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

 CHARLES R. RICHEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Before the Court is the defendant Ramsey Winch Co.'s ("Ramsey") Motion to Quash Service and to Dismiss Due to Lack of Jurisdiction, and Motion to Transfer Venue, plaintiffs' Opposition thereto, defendants' Reply, and Supplemental Memoranda submitted by both plaintiffs and defendants in the above-captioned action. Defendants argue that they lack the minimum contacts with the District of Columbia ("District") necessary to subject them to personal jurisdiction in the District under the constitutional requirements of due process and the District of Columbia's long-arm statute, D.C. Code ยง 13-423 (a)(4).

 Upon consideration of the submissions of the parties, their arguments before this Court on June 26, 1991, and the entire record herein, the Court shall deny the defendant's motions. The Court finds that the defendants have sufficient contacts with the District of Columbia to warrant personal jurisdiction in this case.

 I. Background

 The plaintiff Lakie Ray Fogle, Jr. alleges that he sustained serious injuries while using a winch on a tow truck in the District of Columbia in April, 1988. He alleges that the winch was defective and seeks damages from the manufacturer and distributor. The manufacturer, defendant Ramsey, an Oklahoma corporation, argues that it is not subject to personal jurisdiction in the District of Columbia because Ramsey lacks sufficient contacts. Ramsey cites a variety of factors to support this proposition: it is not incorporated in the District, has no place of business in the District, the product in question was not purchased in the District, Ramsey's sales volume in the District was "negligible", Ramsey does not advertise "locally", etc. In addition, the defendant argues that there is no nexus between Ramsey's contacts with the District and the claim for relief, because the plaintiff bought the winch in Alabama, and was living in Virginia, where his business was located and the winch was delivered, when the accident "fortuitously" occurred in the District. Ramsey further argues that venue is improper.

 The plaintiff offers a different interpretation of the nature of the defendant's contacts with the District, and argues that they are sufficient to warrant jurisdiction. He notes that the injury in question occurred in the District. Plaintiff argues that Ramsey winches are used in the District; that Ramsey itself claims in its advertisements that Ramsey winches are on "about eight out of ten tow trucks today," presumably including tow trucks in the District. Ramsey regularly advertises in national consumer and towing & wrecking industry magazines, most of which are sold over-the-counter in Washington, D.C.

 The Court heard oral arguments from the parties on the motion on July 26, 1991, after which the parties submitted supplementary memoranda addressing the issue of jurisdiction.

 II. Analysis

 The plaintiff must show that the exercise of jurisdiction here both comports with the constitutional requirements of due process and satisfies the requirements of the D.C. long-arm statute.

 A. Constitutional Requirements

 Due process requires that a defendant have minimum contacts with the forum state such that being sued there comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945). The defendant's conduct and connection with the forum state must be such that the defendant should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297, 62 L. Ed. 2d 490, 100 S. Ct. 559 (1980).

 In World-Wide Volkswagen, the Supreme Court held that there was no personal jurisdiction in Oklahoma against a New York automobile retailer whose sales were limited to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and where the retailer never sought to serve the Oklahoma market in any way. Jurisdiction could not be based solely on the fortuitous circumstance that the car happened to break down while passing through Oklahoma. Id. The Court limited its holding, stating that

 
if the sale of a product of a manufacturer or distributor such as Audi or Volkswagen is not simply an isolated occurrence, but arises from the efforts of the manufacturer or distributor to serve directly or indirectly, the market for its product in other States, it is not unreasonable to subject it to suit in one of those States if its allegedly defective merchandise has there been the source of injury to its owner or to others. The forum State does not exceed its powers under the Due Process Clause if it asserts personal jurisdiction over a ...

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.