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Clay v. Blue Hackle North America, LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

November 30, 2012

Carl R. CLAY Jr. and Susan Clay, Plaintiffs,
v.
BLUE HACKLE NORTH AMERICA, LLC, et al., Defendants.

Page 86

Sidney Schupak, Ashcraft & Gerel, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs.

Barry Coburn, Coburn & Greenbaum, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD J. LEON, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Carl R. Clay, Jr. and Susan Clay (collectively, " plaintiffs" ) bring this action against Blue Hackle North America, LLC (" Blue Hackle North America" ), Blue Hackle Group, LLC (" Blue Hackle Group" ), Blue Hackle, LLC (" Blue Hackle LLC" ), Blue Hackle International Limited (" BHIL" ), Blue Hackle LTD a/k/a Blue Hackle Limited (" Blue Hackle LTD" ) and Blue Hackle Middle East, WLL (" BHME" ) (collectively, " defendants" ), seeking compensatory damages for negligence and loss of consortium. Before the Court is the defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. # 3]. Upon consideration of the parties' pleadings, relevant law, and the entire record therein, the defendants' Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Carl Clay, a resident of West Virginia, was employed as a civilian contractor by TolTest, Inc. (" TolTest" ), a corporation that contracts with the United States Department of Defense through the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (" AFCEE" ) to provide construction and support services for operations in the Republic of Iraq (" Iraq" ). Compl. ¶¶ 4, 13, 15, ECF No. 1. TolTest contracted with the defendants to provide static and convoy security for company personnel, including Mr. Clay, who worked as a Project Manager for TolTest in Iraq. Id. ¶¶ 15-16.

On or about January 24, 2009, Mr. Clay was expected to travel from Baghdad, Iraq to Baquba, Iraq, in a convoy operated by the defendants, to conduct a final inspection of Kirkush Military Training Base. Id. ¶ 18. The B-6 transport vehicle provided by defendants, however, was not equipped with seat belts in its rear passenger seats, in violation of AFCEE's November/December 2008 warning that all convoy passenger vehicles were to have operating seatbelts for purposes of safeguarding the

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occupants required to ride in such vehicles. Id. ¶¶ 17-18, 20. When Mr. Clay and a fellow passenger, an Air Force Major, notified defendants' employees about the lack of rear seat belts in the convoy, the convoy's commander indicated that it would be " OK" to travel in the vehicle. Id. ¶ 21. With no other viable travel options at the time, Mr. Clay opted to travel in defendants' convoy. Id. ¶ 22.

On the return trip from the Kirkush Military Training Base to Baghdad, the driver of the B-6 vehicle, an employee of the defendants, lost control of the vehicle while driving at a speed of approximately sixty to seventy miles per hour. Id. ¶ 23. The vehicle went airborne and subsequently rolled halfway over and side to side, during which time Mr. Clay struck his head on the interior walls of the vehicle and suffered severe trauma to his head, neck and arms. Id. ¶¶ 23-24. As a result, Mr. Clay was required to undergo an extensive anterior cervical vertebrectomy and fusion from the C3 to C6 level of his spine, and continues to undergo physical therapy and medical treatment. Id. ¶ 32.

Mr. Clay and his wife, Susan Clay, filed this suit against defendants on January 13, 2012. See generally id. Alleging six separate counts of negligence against various Blue Hackle entities and one count of loss of consortium against all of the defendants, plaintiffs ask this Court to grant judgment in their favor, as well as compensatory damages and an award of costs. Id. Defendants moved to dismiss this action on March 5, 2012. See Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss (" Defs.' Mot." ), ECF No. 3. For the following reasons, this action must be dismissed.

ANALYSIS

I. Personal Jurisdiction


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